Monday, 17 June 2013

How Spurious DMCA Certification Sites Prey On Website Owners


As we explained in a recent post, your online content is protected by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) but you may be wondering if there is anything you can do to stop your content being stolen. Unfortunately, a few people have realised that website owners are often concerned about their material being used on other sites and have decided to capitalise on this by creating DMCA certification sites. 

For the most part DMCA certification sites do not offer a useful service. Usually, you will get a worthless badge or certificate which states that your site is DMCA protected (which it is anyway) so under no circumstances should you ever consider paying for the privilege of advertising this company’s protection of your site. 

As we mentioned in a previous post, Copyscape offer a great service and they too give you a badge for your site if you get the premium option. While the badge itself is not especially useful, this service does actually provide daily scans to check whether your work has appeared anywhere else on the web and logs the information for you on a dashboard. From this dashboard you can send off your DMCA complaints. While you would have to pay for this service, you do actually get some useful benefits out of it as opposed to from some other sites which effectively get you to pay for something you don’t need. 

Our advice is to track your content carefully with a trusted site such as Copyscape and if you are having trouble keeping up with your DMCA complaint notices, it might be worth upgrading to a more comprehensive service. However, take care to avoid spurious sites which to all intents and purposes exist only to scam under-informed people out of their money.