What to do if your DMCA notice is ignored

When you sell downloadable products on the internet, your work will almost certainly get pirated, sooner or later.

You might have tried sending DMCA notices, in order to get the pirated files taken down. When you do that, you will find out that some of your takedown notices just get ignored or rejected.

Here's a checklist of things you can try if that happens.

Make sure you contacted the right hoster

Usually, pirates don't store files on their own sites, for cost reasons. They use so-called cyberlockers, which are services for hosting individual files. Most of these cyberlockers adhere to the DMCA and will remove the illegal files if asked.

So make sure you contact the place where the actual file is stored.

Make sure you had the right contact address

Some filehosters offer a DMCA email address. Others want you to fill out a web form. Follow links mentioning "DMCA" or "Abuse" on the filehoster website to find out. Alternatively, you can refer to our list of DMCA email addresses.

Check that your notice is valid

In order to be a valid DMCA takedown notice, your message needs to fulfill several criteria: You need to identify the copyrighted work clearly, mention the Copyright owner, and confirm that you are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.

We recommend you use our DMCA takedown template.

Ask Google to remove the search results

Usually, people discover pirated files in three steps:

1. They search Google

2. They discover a pirate site

3. The pirate site links to the actual files.

When you send a DMCA notice to a filehoster, you prevent the last step (3). We recommend you also get the pirate sites removed from Google search results. This will help to hide the pirated content and will also cause those pirate sites to drop in Google ranking over time.

Therefore, we recommend that you get the pirate sites removed from Google and simultaneously send a DMCA notice for the actual files.