Stolen content? How to send a DMCA takedown notice in 4 steps

I got an alert through Ahrefs telling me someone had linked to my blog.

When I checked the site, it looked familiar.

Very familiar.

How to send a DMCA takedown notice

Someone stole my content.

There was no reference to my work, no canonical, no nothing. They were trying to pass it off as their own.

They copied all the text from my directory and added in to a single page.

The curated directory I created lists all the great Google Sheets templates people have made. I don’t claim to have made any and provide a link to each template source.

All I did was collect them, compile them together and write a unique description for each.

I emailed the website in question and asked why my content had been copied. I got a weird response back saying I had been asked if they could use my content (I had not) and that it was only a draft (it didn’t look like a draft).

I kindly asked if they could remove it. They didn’t.

So…

How to send a DMCA takedown notice in 4 steps

Step 1 – Ask the content thief to remove

Sometimes people make honest mistakes.

The first thing you should do if you think someone has ripped off your content is find their contact details and ask them to remove.

Hopefully, they remove and that’s the end of it.

Or maybe they claim something like this:

Or maybe they remove it for a few days then republish it.

My content borrower did both.

If they don’t comply, it’s time to ramp up the pressure:

Step 2 – Gather the evidence

First thing you want to do is put together a document with all copyright claims that you are making and any proof that you are the original copyright holder.

You need to be able to prove that you are the original creator/owner of the content.

I took a screenshot of some of the copied content + the corresponding URLs:

I also ran the content through Quetext to clearly show the plagiarism:

Step 3 – Prep your DMCA

Now you just need to put it together.

You can head over here to use the DMCA takedown generator.

OR

You can make a copy of the DMCA takedown request here. Note: I am NOT a lawyer.

Step 4 – Ask the web host to remove

A quick who.is lookup will tell you who the offending site is hosted by. In this case it is with Siteground.

This is good news. Siteground is where I host my site so I was confident they would get this resolved. All my past dealings with their support have been good.

It is also a good idea to see if the host you will be contacting has a DMCA page with specific instructions.

Here’s a list of some of the top hosts DMCA pages for a quick reference:

Now you just need to send over a brief email outlining what’s happened along with your evidence.

Remember, be polite and nice to the host. They haven’t done anything wrong, so there’s no point in kicking off at them.

(I recommend writing a passive aggressive blog post instead)

Did it work?

It took less than a day to get the post taken down.

I’ve never been so happy at seeing a 404 error page.

Wrapping up

The moral of the story here is:

Be an honest marketer – don’t steal other people’s work.