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How to deal with fake DMCA claims?
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How to deal with fake DMCA claims?

poiuytpoiuyt Member
edited August 20 in Help

A competitor is copy-pasting our content onto his blog and then filing DMCA against us on Google. Yes we can file a counter-notice and have that restored, and we're doing that.

But the problem is that we're concerned he may start filing these fake DMCAs against us on our hosting. Our hosting told us that per Linode's terms once you get a DMCA you must remove the content for 10 days regardless of the fact that the copyright claim is honest or dishonest.

I told them, that this competitor could technically attack every single page of our website and have all our pages removed in this way, which is the physical equivalent of throwing a bomb to someone's shop. The hosting said there's nothing they can do about it and to seek legal advice. Our lawyer is stuck on the idea of filing counter-notices which anyway will cause our content to be offline for 10-14 days with potential de-indexation issues from search engines and ranking loss.

I want to prepare myself in case this happens. One option I am thinking is to buy a offshore server, and in case this happens, migrate our website there.

Anybody has any idea or what I can do to protect my company from this and minimize disruptions in case of such attack?

Needless to say the attacker is hiding himself under fake names, cloudflare, fake details, etc.

Thank you!

Thanked by 1Logano
«1

Comments

  • jackbjackb Member, Host Rep

    You have a lawyer, ask them what you should do.

  • poiuytpoiuyt Member
    edited August 20

    Thank you, I appreciate your reply, I am of course already talking to a lawyer, I would like to hear from hosting experts like people in this forum who have probably seen many more similar scenarios than any lawyer has. The more information and ideas, the better prepared we will be.

    Thanked by 1afn
  • edited August 20

    Move from Linode to BuyVM and end the sleepless nights :-)

    Edit: if you don't wanna deal with moving everything - just get one small buyvm, and route all traffic from Linode through that. Then all DMCA complaints will go to BuyVM a.k.a. to /dev/null

  • find out which hosting your attacker is using and use that. :)

  • HostSlickHostSlick Member, Patron Provider

    Explain your hosting provider and tell them to wipe his complaints. If they don't, then move on.

    This Kind of people getting me angry. Such asshole behaviour.
    So, If you need VPS or dedicated servers we are happy to help you and put his actions to a end.

    Or at least you setup nginx/GRE tunnel and route all traffic from provider who ignores to your current.
    And on the very Front, put cloudflare as well.

    Thanked by 3afn dystopia sliix
  • emgemg Member
    edited August 20

    It seems to me that Linode is an integral part of your threat model.

    If Linode cannot give you assurances that they can and will manage this threat without a serious adverse effect on your business, then the threat mitigation is to change hosting providers. Switch from Linode to another provider who will not be a threat. Duh.

  • Post this to Hacker News and Twitter, @ them in your tweet. Let their PR do the rest.

  • HostSlickHostSlick Member, Patron Provider
    edited August 20

    @emg said:
    It seems to me that Linode is an integral part of your threat model.

    If Linode cannot give you assurances that they can and will manage this threat without a serious adverse effect on your business, then the threat mitigation is to change hosting providers. Switch from Linode to another provider who will not be a threat. Duh.

    Well you are right. Thats what i thought as well.
    If it wouldnt be his content - and/or he just copied it as well, i could understand linode.
    But HIS content is being stolen being a crook it seems.

    Any provider should check if the complaint is valid. Even if its U.S one that doesnt ignore dmca.

  • jarjar Member, Patron Provider
    edited August 20

    @NobodyInteresting said:
    Move from Linode to BuyVM and end the sleepless nights :-)

    Edit: if you don't wanna deal with moving everything - just get one small buyvm, and route all traffic from Linode through that. Then all DMCA complaints will go to BuyVM a.k.a. to /dev/null

    This, or any hosting that has similar philosophies. At previous jobs I've told DMCA senders to fuck off, and while I understand the need to automate reactions to them it's really damaging to a company if they'll allow themselves to be socially engineered into losing customers on demand by how they handle DMCA attacks.

    DMCA is often worthy of reaction, and yes not reacting to each one as though it's legitimate can be taking risk, but sometimes you have to know where to draw the line and take that "risk" to let people know you're not going to harass your own customers for an attacker.

  • @mosquitoguy said:
    find out which hosting your attacker is using and use that. :)

    thats the method i prefer too.

  • stefemanstefeman Member
    edited August 20

    You can sue the person for perjury under DMCA act.

    Collect proof and file a lawsuit in small claims or civil court. If the business is legitmate, it will react and if you cannot get a good ruling, you can always settle with the person and ensure that he agrees to never do it again. If he breaks the settlement, you can sue him for all his worth.

    Even if it doesent solve the problem instantly, it will make the guy think twice before continuing to do so.

    It's relatively inexpensive to do so, and you can employ law graduate to do such things for quite cheap rates via legitmate law companies. They are easy generic jobs and you dont really need a specialized IT-lawyer to deal with fraudlent claims.

  • DPDP Member, Administrator, The Domain Guy

    Thanked by 2Daniel15 edip
  • DataIdeas-JoshDataIdeas-Josh Member, Patron Provider

    @poiuyt Have you found a host yet?
    Feel free to send me a PM and can possibility help you out with some ideas/solutions.
    ~Josh

  • Offshore hosting is a good option. It is best to choose companies with a location in the Netherlands. Ideally, when complaints are received, they analyze the complaints, then ask you why they complain about you, and then decide what to do with you. A good option in offshore hosting is the ability to accept payment in cryptocurrency. I recommend you consider them. Bottom line: you need offshore hosting, with good DDoS protection, a loyal content placement policy, and ideally accepting crypto.

  • GhtGht Member

    Change Hosting buddy.

  • LordSpockLordSpock Member, Host Rep

    In situations iike this, being a customer of a 'large' host is usually never a good time. They are very unlikely to have someone who is going to be understanding or take the time to review your issue.

    Move to a host who you can explain the situation to in advance - if these are fake and you do not host unauthorized copyrighted material then you have no need to go and find some random offshore host, most good hosts are understanding of these situations.

  • Easy, Offshore Hosting + Hide IP with cloudflare and let them start the rage!

    Check some providers here DMCA Ignored:
    https://lowendtalk.com/discussion/comment/3469290/#Comment_3469290

  • it needs to be resolved because it is related to google indexing

  • ZyraZyra Member

    Change hosting? Perhaps @MannDude could help?

    Thanked by 1MannDude
  • poiuytpoiuyt Member
    edited August 22

    Thank you all for the replies. I like this forum, you guys are great :)

    If Linode cannot give you assurances that they can and will manage this threat without a serious adverse effect on your business, then the threat mitigation is to change hosting providers. Switch from Linode to another provider who will not be a threat. Duh.

    It seems the general advice is to find a hosting who can give me some protection from this threat. We have USA users and would like a USA based server.

    Can you recommend any hosting company who could protect us in case this threat happens?

    At the moment with Linode saying they will ask us to remove content for 14 days regardless of the validity of the claim we don't feel very safe/ protected /understood.

  • KebabKebab Member

    @HostMT3 said:
    Easy, Offshore Hosting + Hide IP with cloudflare and let them start the rage!

    Check some providers here DMCA Ignored:
    https://lowendtalk.com/discussion/comment/3469290/#Comment_3469290

    Not sure if cloudflare is a good idea since they would file DMCA to cloudflare, unsure how they CF reacts to DMCAs.

  • MannDudeMannDude Member, Host Rep

    @Kebab said:

    @HostMT3 said:
    Easy, Offshore Hosting + Hide IP with cloudflare and let them start the rage!

    Check some providers here DMCA Ignored:
    https://lowendtalk.com/discussion/comment/3469290/#Comment_3469290

    Not sure if cloudflare is a good idea since they would file DMCA to cloudflare, unsure how they CF reacts to DMCAs.

    Cloudflare does nothing but forward the complaint to the provider.

  • @poiuyt said:
    Thank you all for the replies. I like this forum, you guys are great :)

    If Linode cannot give you assurances that they can and will manage this threat without a serious adverse effect on your business, then the threat mitigation is to change hosting providers. Switch from Linode to another provider who will not be a threat. Duh.

    It seems the general advice is to find a hosting who can give me some protection from this threat. We have USA users and would like a USA based server.

    Can you recommend any hosting company who could protect us in case this threat happens?

    At the moment with Linode saying they will ask us to remove content for 14 days regardless of the validity of the claim we don't feel very safe/ protected /understood.

    I didn't read this. You should read again the entre thread. DMCA is a USA law. Most of providers in US won't ignore DMCA.

    If you want to host it in US and if you go down suddenly don't come here crying.

    Your competitors are laughing of you if you still doing that. Just switch to Offshore Hosting or DMCA ignored hosting.

    I feel that I & all members who commented here wasted their time with you.

    Move on.

  • JasonMJasonM Member

    @HostMT3 said: Your competitors are laughing of you if you still doing that. Just switch to Offshore Hosting or DMCA ignored hosting.

    yeah but Hetzner seems to obey DMCAs "A website claims DMCA violation for mentioning their url, hetzner says they'll suspend my server"

  • poiuytpoiuyt Member
    edited August 23

    Move to a host who you can explain the situation to in advance - if these are fake and you do not host unauthorized copyrighted material then you have no need to go and find some random offshore host, most good hosts are understanding of these situations.

    Could you mention some hosting that you think would be understanding of the situation?

    Although we have been online for a decade we're very unfamiliar with servers and hosting and always used fully managed commercial mainstream hosting providers. It could be ignorance but when I look at websites of Offshore hosting providers they look confusing, unclear, and provide details about servers that I have no idea what they mean and what to choose. They seem designed for hosting admins or experts and not from someone coming from "Wordpress Hosting type of packages" on a commercial hosting company whose experience of hosting is cPanel.

    Furthermore I would think offshore servers would be good for people who are streaming movies, stealing copyrighted materials and such, but everything we're doing is completely legal and I don't know if going offshore could have any negative impact on our search engine rankings and business in some other way.

    Last, as far as I know you should get a hosting near to your users and our users are in the USA. Sure I am aware of CDN but I don't know in my experience, I could be an outlier, but my sites without Cloudflare all rank better and perform better than my sites that use Cloudflare.

  • @JasonM said:

    @HostMT3 said: Your competitors are laughing of you if you still doing that. Just switch to Offshore Hosting or DMCA ignored hosting.

    yeah but Hetzner seems to obey DMCAs "A website claims DMCA violation for mentioning their url, hetzner says they'll suspend my server"

    I never said Hetzner is offshore...

  • JasonMJasonM Member

    @HostMT3 said: I never said Hetzner is offshore...

    I mean any offshore hosting will seriously take down copyrighted content like Hetzner does. Just the user has to send the complaint the respective country-specific format. It applies even if content in hosting in EU or Asia countries. Even Indian, Singaporian, Hong Kong, Middle East companies ask to take down content if complaint is sent in lieu of DMCA. Only safe are may be Russian and Chinese hosting companies and some claiming to be in Sweden.

  • poiuytpoiuyt Member

    @JasonM said:

    @HostMT3 said: I never said Hetzner is offshore...

    I mean any offshore hosting will seriously take down copyrighted content like Hetzner does. Just the user has to send the complaint the respective country-specific format. It applies even if content in hosting in EU or Asia countries. Even Indian, Singaporian, Hong Kong, Middle East companies ask to take down content if complaint is sent in lieu of DMCA. Only safe are may be Russian and Chinese hosting companies and some claiming to be in Sweden.

    @JasonM
    So technically even if I move the website to an offshore hosting and they receive a fake DMCA that wouldn't help me.

    It seems like fake DMCAs are a nice loophole to be exploited to get rid of competition. What would you do in my shoes?

  • pkrpkr Member

    I am facing the same issue. One guy copies content from my website and sends DMCA to Bing because Bing lists my website at the top for those content. The worst thing is it seems that Bing is helping that guy. Bing does not disclose anything about the guy who is submitting fake copyright claims. I wanted to sue the guy, but Microsoft is not providing any details and just removing my pages from Bing index.

    My lawyer told me to send notice to Microsoft to release his/her details and then sue. But the lawyer fee was too high. Somehow I got his/her details from Google DMCA database as he/she had submitted fake copyright to Google too, but Google ignored DMCA and asked him/her for the proof which he/she does not have. The guy is from Turkey and I am not sure how to sue him from the USA.

  • pkrpkr Member
    edited August 24

    It seems like fake DMCAs are a nice loophole to be exploited to get rid of competition. What would you do in my shoes?

    You also submit the fake copyright to take down his/her pages. I think Google/Bing are blind. We live in a world full of demons. To handle demons, you need to become demon too. You cannot live like a human among demons. When you give him the taste of his own medicine, he might slow down or stop this nonsense.

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