Down in 90 minutes: How DMCA complaints work

Down in 90 minutes. Don't fuck with the Gang.

I’ve been writing essays and stories since I was five or six years old.

During the past 35 years, I’ve used my ability to form words into intelligent passages for a number of purposes: winning contests, writing books, engaging in journalism in both English and my native language of Greek.

Being protective of one’s literary work is a must, if one wants to retain control of it for financial and managerial purposes. Being quoted in publications, interviews or in excerpts of works of others all constitute fair use; especially when they are accompanied with references – and in our times, with backlinks.

People that resort to copying the work of others not only show a lack of ability to express their ideas, theses and arguments in writing but they also display a complete lack of ethos. The act of stealing, when not explicitly described as such from a young age, can only lead to recurring instances of thievery; an act that in the mind of the wrong-doer is not wrong or worthy of a punishment.

Ergo, the situation earlier today with a person who was caught red-handed stealing entire posts from my project, – they also stole content from Chef Patrick, Bruce Marler, Shane Cultra, Elliot Silver and other domain bloggers.

Fortunately, these days the process is straightforward and more or less uniform. With the majority of web hosts located in Western countries, the ability to streamline the process of issuing a complaint is a pleasant positive in an ocean of Internet anarchy.

So what would you do if someone is copying or ripping your work and posts it elsewhere as their own?

Your first step would be to find out who they are; an easy task if you are dealing with a web site residing on a domain. Use to find their contact address and email them, explaining that your content belongs to you and that you have not given them the right to replicate it. If their email address bounces as invalid, inform their Registrar and in the meantime, resolve the IP of their domain. You can do that by opening a command console in Windows and issuing the ping command.

If they respond with a positive attitude and remove the content per your instructions, your mission ends here. If they fail to respond or email you back with a snobby, pompous attitude as in our case tonight, it’s time to get serious.

Take that domain’s IP and visit ARIN and enter it in the ‘Search WHOIS” box on the top right. It will return the network responsible for managing that IP. It’s the absolute “god” over whoever is copying your content and have full authority over turning them on and off.

That same page will show you which email acts as the “Abuse department” for the network in question. Visit their web site to locate any references to the DMCA – the digital millennium copyright act that serves as the group of guidelines against copyright infringement online.

Some companies managing networks have their own layout for reporting copyright violations; most, however, outline the necessary items in order to report a violation and substantiate an actionable DMCA complaint.

In the case that I dealt with today, I got in touch with Nobis Technology Group LLC who outlines the DMCA complaint process on their web site.

I gathered screenshots of the offensive content and saved them as PDF files using a great utility called NovaPDF that can create PDF files from anything that can be printed.

Then, following the DMCA complaint instructions I wrote up this email, that you can use as a generic template, free of charge 🙂

This complaint of a DMCA violation is being brought against the holder of the domain name, [DOMAIN VIOLATOR] and its web site, hosted on the IP which belongs to the network of [COMPANY YOU’RE COMPLAINING TO]

The web site replicates content produced exclusively for and appearing on [YOUR DOMAIN]

The material on [DOMAIN VIOLATOR] which references [YOUR DOMAIN] have not been authorized for reproduction in any shape or form. The owner of [DOMAIN VIOLATOR] is including our content simply as a means of monetizing his traffic via Google Adsense or other ads.

The owner of [DOMAIN VIOLATOR] has been notified of this violation and has refused to proceed with removing the content in a timely fashion. The email communication is included at the very end of this email to [COMPANY YOU’RE COMPLAINING TO]


Our contact information:



[YOUR DOMAIN] – the Complaining Party – has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and

The information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that [YOUR DOMAIN] – the Complaining Party – is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Signed this day of [DATE]


In the case of the offender, it took 90 minutes from the moment I filed a DMCA complaint until they suspended his account. In the meantime, he had started changing the RSS feeds, still displaying full copies of our content and eventually deleted some of it; unfortunately, many web hosting companies have zero tolerance to offenses of this kind.

In a nutshell, a message to content scrapers: don’t do it, kids. Spend some time sharpening your own skills or find something else you’re good at. Stealing is a crime and criminals are taken down.


  1. Nice job acting on this and offering up the free letter.

    I do not mind excerpts and recently killed a whole site to move to excerpts but full content is NOT GOOD.

    Keep up the good fight.

  2. Acro,

    Thanks for the detailed instructions and sample letter. I’ve marked it as fave in case it’s needed to be referenced future.

    Here’s a site that Arbel had on one of his post, checks for plagiarism

  3. Here’s a good tool for finding content scrapers:

  4. Excellent work, thanks for the template too.

  5. Looks like this didn’t work too well, the site is back up and still posting full content.

  6. Jesse – it worked just fine. They removed my content and eventually the content of others. That’s the idea behind a DMCA notice: to remove unauthorized work or to be shut down until it’s done 🙂

  7. I guess I should have phrased that comment differently. It looks like it worked for you lol.. but the content they have on there seems to all be from other sources (they have a short notice above each post)

    I personally despise those type of sites, so I tend to get a little worked up over this..

  8. Jesse, are we talking about the same domain – the one in the screenshot above? Because I don’t see any works of others anymore. Of course, it’s each to their own, when it comes to protecting one’s works, although once a site is tagged as a repository of stolen works, the web host will maximize the penalty it would impose.

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