Last year, I talked about how Google had started accepting accepting form DMCA notices for its Blogger service, making it the first service at Google to accept notices directly online.
For those needing to file DMCA notices with Google, this was a vast improvement as the only previous methods widely accepted were fax and postal mail (though I had a workaround for emailing a DMCA notice to Google).
Apparently though, Google was satisfied with the test results and has now expanded its DMCA form to work with nearly all of its various products including Web search, image search, Adsense, Adwords, Android Market, Orkut, Picasa and, strangely, Gmail.
The only service that does not use the form is Google-owned YouTube, which still has its process on the main site (complete with a separate form).
Using the form is also remarkably simple. One just selects the service they wish to report the copyright infringement, select “I have found content that may violate my copyright” and then indicate you are either the copyright holder or a designated agent. Once you do that, Google walks you through the steps of filing the notice, including providing an electronic signature so there is no need to provide a physical signature via fax or postal mail (a previous sticking point with Google).
Testing Google’s DMCA Form
Having used the form a few times since it recently went online, I can say safely that it is very easy and very quick to use. It has drastically cut down on the time required to file a Google DMCA notice, in particular for Web search.
Though you have to be careful to note that each form is slightly different, asking for information unique to that service, they are all pretty self-explanatory and can be completed by a layperson with great ease.
The big drawback I’m seeing is that response time to these notices appears to be a good deal slower than one would expect. One notice I filed with the Blogger team took nearly three weeks to get a clear spam blog removed. I’ve gotten at least one other report of similarly slow responses.
However, I’m putting out an open call for your experiences. If you’ve used this form recently, please let me know what service you reported to and how quick the response was. You can do so either using my contact form if you wish to respond in private or by posting a comment below.
All in all, I’m happy to see that Google is taking steps to one and improve their DMCA procedure. Streamlining the process not only could mean faster response times for creators, but also less work for Google and a more reliable process.
However, all of this hinges on Google responding to notices in a timely and appropriate manner, as well as Google making sure that the form isn’t overloaded with false complaints, spam or other garbage.
If Google can overcome these issues, then this change could be a great thing for copyright holders of all stripes. That being said, early indications are that they haven’t, though I’m hoping that they are problems they can iron out soon.
I’ll keep everyone posted on what I find out.