Camgirls / Porn Producers: Fighting Piracy With DMCA
Piracy is a major issue for performers in the industry. It could be a camgirl getting shows capped or a producer having clips uploaded to a site. Luckily, there’s many ways to fight piracy at a model’s disposal. DMCA is the most talked about, and one of the more effective tools available. There’s also many different parties that DMCA takedown notifications can be sent to. Here’s all the information you need to know.
Table Of Contents:
- What Is DMCA
- Who Can Submit DMCA Complaints
- Where You Can Submit DMCA Notices
- DMCA Agencies and Platforms
- Other Laws: Trademark, 2257 and Cyber-Squatting
- Pirate Sites Hosted In Foreign Countries
- More Information On Anti-Piracy
What Is DMCA? (Digital Millennium Copyright Act)
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a US Federal Law that protects digital content owners and creators. The law was passed in 1998. The best thing about DMCA is that you don’t need a patent, trademark or copyright. If you are the one who created the content, you own the rights to it.
DMCA Gets Stolen Content Removed – DMCA is the most common law leveraged when getting stolen content removed from the internet. The act of requesting the content get removed is called a “DMCA Takedown Notice” or “DMCA Takedown Request”. The DMCA notices can be sent to a number of parties; the infringing website, the web hosting company, the domain registrar, search engines and other entities.
Where To Submit DMCA Notices – The DMCA takedown notices can also be sent out by a number of parties. Independent performers can send out their own requests, although this is not advised. The requests require contact information to be included. This leads to some major privacy concerns and performers have been doxed by doing this.
Who Can Submit DMCA Notices – It’s recommended that either your camming or clip site does this on your behalf, assuming that they’re offering DMCA services. It’s also possible to hire a DMCA agency, which costs some money but gets tremendous results. Going either of these routes, it’ll be their names and contact information rather than yours. This greatly helps protect you and your privacy.
Who Can Submit The DMCA Complaints
There’s multiple parties that can submit a formal DMCA complaints to the infringing parties. Anyone who owns the rights to the content can file the complaint. That means the performer, producers and the networks where the content is on. It’s also possible to contract a 3rd party such as a DMCA agency or lawyer to handle the complaints. Here’s some information on all the different parties.
Sites Offering DMCA Takedown Services
If your camming or clip site offers DMCA services, this is the best way to go about it. It’s 100% free, there’s no privacy concerns and you’ll save time and effort. Keep in mind that not all networks offer these services. Also, some DMCA services are basic, while others go above and beyond. Here’s the advantages and basic information on going this route.
Save Time, Money and Effort
If your camming or clip site is submitting the claims on your behalf, that is time, money and energy saved. It takes a lot to research DMCA (like you’re doing now) and to go through the process with all those sites. Especially when there’s everything else that needs to be done to keep business going smoothly.
The sites offering DMCA services either use someone in-house or outsource to an agency or lawyer. Therefore, they’ve got the process very streamlined and completely figured out. It’s an all-around more efficient process for everyone.
No Privacy Concerns
A name and contact information has to be included on all DMCA takedown notices. This creates a major privacy concern for independent performers. Providing legitimate contact information comes with the risk of being doxed. Especially since the information on the takedown notice is forwarded to the infringing party.
When the camming or clip site submits the DMCA compliant on the performers behalf, it’s their contact information being used. That means the name of the DMCA agency or person at the company making the complaint, and the business address and contact information. This completely mitigates any privacy issues associated with the process.
Chance For Getting More Stolen Content Removed
The performer only owns the rights to the content they produce or are featured in. The camming and clip sites own the rights to all the content featured on their network. This means that if they gain traction with getting your content removed, they might get all of the content stolen from their network removed as well. This is a much bigger blow to the pirate site and has a much greater impact for the entire industry.
The Companies Carry A Bigger Voice
As sad as it is to say, an independent model doesn’t carry as strong of a voice as a big-box site does. In-fact, it goes beyond pirates not taking performers seriously. There’s pirates who will attempt to use any personal identifying information to dox or blackmail the performer!
A big-box site on the other hand? They’ve got lawyers, legal warchests and can play additional cards such as 2257 Compliance and trademark infringement. All this can be very intimidating to a pirate and can sometimes lead to webmasters taking content offline, even if they’re in a country that harbors content thieves.
Finding Stolen Content and Notifying The Network
It’s important to realize that many sites aren’t proactive about policing the internet for stolen content. They might offer DMCA services, but normally the burden of finding and reporting the stolen content is on the performer. The process of reporting pirated content also might vary from site to site. An email to support should be enough to get directions on how to properly and most effectively report URLs of infringing sites.
Some Networks Offer Better Services Than Others
It’s also important to note that some networks offer better DMCA services than others. While some networks might only submit complaints to pirate sites, some might submit complaints to other parties. These parties might include web hosting companies, registrars, search engines, social media sites and more.
We’ve got a directory comparing the DMCA services of the different sites linked-to below. This directory is a great place to start when determining the effectiveness of the DMCA services offered by the various camming and clip sites.
Hiring A DMCA Agency To Submit Notices
It’s also possible to hire a DMCA agency to handle all the takedown notices. You’ll have to spend some money to go this route, but you definitely get what you pay for. DMCA agencies are proactive about finding and taking down pirated content. Many of them use crawlers to crawl the internet looking for content. Some even have facial recognition technology. Here’s some information about partnering with DMCA agencies.
DMCA Agencies Specialize In Anti-Piracy
When you hire a DMCA agency, you’re hiring the pros. This is the one thing they specialize in and they do a good job at it. Most agencies go well above and beyond simply submitting notices to infringing sites. They’ll do everything in their power to get the content removed from the internet. This includes submitting DMCA complaints to every party possible. Many agencies will also go beyond DMCA and leverage laws like 2257 Compliance to get stolen content removed.
Web Crawlers, Facial Recognition and Other Tools
Many of the DMCA agencies leverage of a wide range of tools to help find stolen content. This includes web crawlers, facial recognition technology and other means. This helps automate much of the process of searching for and identifying the stolen content. It also enables the agencies to search in places that are more difficult to navigate manually and even identify pirated content in multiple languages.
Submitting DMCA Notices To All Parties
While many of the camming sites only submit DMCA takedown notices to the infringing webmasters, the agencies will shoot the complaints all over the place. This might include web hosts, registrars, the companies the pirates are using to monetize and more.
Many times, the infringing website will be hosted in a country that doesn’t honor Western intellectual property laws. If that’s the case, they have no reason to take the content offline. When that happens, DMCA takedown notices need to be sent to all other parties that will honor these notices. That is the only way to get the content removed or reduce the impact from the pirated content.
Agencies Are Proactive (Not Reactive)
It’s also important to note that DMCA agencies are proactive about monitoring and filing complaints. This is in contrast to many of the camming or clip sites who offer DMCA services. A lot of the networks will only submit the requests, but put the burden of finding the content on the performers. Having an agency that is actively searching for it makes a much greater impact.
Submitting DMCA Notices Yourself
It is possible to submit DMCA takedown notices yourself. This is risky business, as contact information is required on the notices. Models have gotten doxed or blackmailed going this route! If you do decide this is a course of action you want to pursue, here’s some general information and tips.
If You Do Submit Your Own Request - Use Fake Info!
Performers have had success in using their performer name, a PO Box that wasn’t their own, and out of city, and a secondary phone number with an area code different from their area. This can greatly protect the performer from the chance of being doxed in the process of getting pirated content removed. Some networks redact specific information during the DMCA process. If you’re filing the requests yourself, it’s worth asking what information can be redacted and what information is made public.
Google Doesn't Really Verify DMCA Complaints
Google doesn’t really seem to verify the identity of those submitting the DMCA complaints. In-fact, there’s been multiple reports of webmasters reporting other affiliates to Google, pretending to be a representative from a big-box site. That shows you how much verification they do. Therefore, submitting DMCA complaints to Google using fictitious information is much easier than doing it other places.
But be careful! All Google takedowns are listed in the Lumen Database. That means that the information you provide will be listed in there, as well as the description of the content being taken down. Another major reason why you never want to use your real name and contact info!
Make Sure To Follow Directions As Best As Possible
Different parties have different instructions for submitting DMCA notices. Make sure to follow them as best as possible. Keep in mind, some information you might not be able to provide. For example; web hosting companies generally request the contact information for the infringing party. Pirates don’t exactly hand that to you on a silver platter. Even if you can’t provide everything, do the best you can.
Some entities will redact some of the contact information of the party submitting the takedown notification. If that’s the case, it’s worth asking what information gets redacted. Make sure to get it in writing or email form. That way if they don’t redact the information, you can raise hell!
Easier To Get Content Removed From Social Media
A lot of times (not all the time) it can be easier to get content removed from social media than from pirate sites. A lot of times it can be done without potentially doxing yourself, too. That is because these sites have features for “Flagging” or “Reporting” content. Generally, these networks like to shoot first and ask questions later. Banning a member is easier than fighting a legal battle.
Remember, you’ve got a lot more than DMCA going for you. All the pirated content is also non-compliant with 2257. Even though the social networks are technically “Secondary Producers” and their terms of service protect them legally, this is still a huge deal. A lot bigger than copyright infringement. If any of the content is trademarked (watermark?) there’s also trademark infringement.
Those are all some major threats and it’s never really worth it for a network to ignore complaints like that.
Where You Can Submit DMCA Notices
When people think DMCA, they usually only think of submitting complaints to the infringing website. There is actually tons of different places where DMCA takedown notices can be submitted. This ranges from the web hosts all the way down to various services the pirates are using for their websites. Submitting DMCA notices in all places possible helps gain traction in all areas. If the pirate site is hosted in a country where they don’t legally have to act, you’ve got to start submitting it to alternative locations. Here are the main places to submit DMCA takedown requests.
Submitting DMCA Complaints To Infringing Sites
This is usually the first place to start. Some of the other entities (such as affiliate networks and some web hosts) actually require that you first try submitting a complaint to the infringing website. The “Infringing Party” could be a blatant pirate site, or it could be a network where someone uploaded content they don’t have the rights to. If it’s a pirate site, they’re probably hosted overseas and will not remove the content because of a takedown notice by itself.
Networks that support “User Generated Content” (UGC) are usually much more receptive. These sites might include forums, social media sites and tube sites. In addition to removing the content, the users of these sites might also get banned.
Why A 3rd Party Should Submit These Notices
There are some major privacy concerns when submitting DMCA takedown requests. Pirates have been known to use the contact information on the complaint to dox or blackmail the performer. It is always best that a 3rd party submits these takedown noitces. This could be your camming site, clip site or a DMCA agency.
Following The DMCA Complaint Process
Some sites have a DMCA statement and takedown policy / process. Whether they honor it? That’s another story. If the site does have a process for reporting infringing material, follow it as best as possible. There are plenty of legitimate sites out there that will respond to the notices and take down the infringing content.
When Webmasters Don't Honor DMCA Complaints
There will be sites that don’t honor the DMCA requests. This is usually because the site is hosted in a country that doesn’t recognize Western intellectual property laws. When this happens, everyone needs to get a little more creative. It’s possible to send notices to other parties. There’s also some other tactics that can be used to combat piracy.
Submitting DMCA Notices To Google / Search Engines
Search engines are one of the largest traffic sources out there. That means they’re also one of the top traffic sources for pirates as well. Luckily, they’re all based inside the United States. Therefore, they all have to honor Western intellectual property laws. This means they’re highly receptive to DMCA complaints.
Search Engines Are Pirates Primary Traffic Source
Search engines (especially Google) are the largest traffic sources for most pirate sites. Knocking the pirated content out of the search results is one of the most effective ways to mitigate the impact of piracy. If people can’t find the content, they can’t interact with it. By eliminating the pirate site results, you also bump up the rankings of the more legit properties, such as your website, social media, clip sites, ect.
Search Engines Honor Western Intellectual Property Laws
Google, Bing and Yahoo are all based out of the United States. Therefore, they all have to honor Western intellectual property laws. A foreign pirate might not remove stolen content from their site. But you’ll at least be able to knock out any search engine rankings for that piece of content. This greatly reduces the impact of the piracy.
Google Doesn't Vet DMCA Complaints
Google does a horrible job at vetting who’s submitting the DMCA notices. So much that shady webmasters have actually used the process to try to “attack” competing affiliates. This has been reported on multiple times. This is good news for performers that are trying to submit their own takedowns. There’s a much better chance that a Google DMCA complaint will fly under the performer name.
Remove Video Results and Image Results
The main search results aren’t the only things that can get removed from Google products. Video search results, photo search results, Blogspot blogs and other Google web properties can also be reported. If it’s a Google product, you can report piracy and other forms of abuse through their system.
Number Of DMCA Complaints Hurts Google Rankings
Not only do you get the results to your pirated content removed, but Google DMCA complaints also hurt a website’s rankings. Google has stated that the number of removed URLs directly impacts the search engine rankings of a website. This greatly reduces the impact of all pirated content on the site.
Submitting DMCA Notices To Web Hosts
DMCA complaints can also be filed with the web host. If the web hosting company pulls the service of a pirate site, that means that the entire website goes offline. Needless to say, this is a much better outcome than simply removing select pieces of pirated content. Submitting complaints to web hosting companies comes with the same challenges as
This Can Potentially Take Down An Entire Site
While normal DMCA might get select pieces of content removed, this route has the potential to take down an entire site. That has a much larger impact. Even if the pirate migrated the stolen content to a new site, the traffic would still be wrecked. It also takes time and effort to migrate.
Follow The Instructions As Best As Possible
Most web hosts have clear instructions on how to submit a DMCA complaint. Be sure to follow these directions as closely as possible. Some of the directions might ask for things like contact information of the infringing party. Pirates don’t exactly hand this out on a silver platter, so some of this information might be possible to obtain. Do your best and hope for the best.
The Same Privacy Concerns Exist
The same privacy issues that come with regular DMCA notices also apply to submitting them to web hosts. Some web hosts will redact certain information. Make sure what information gets redacted beforehand, and remember that its still name 100% safe to assume that they will do so! It’s definitely a much better idea to get a 3rd party to submit these notices on your behalf (network or agency) if at all possible.
Reporting Webmasters To Affiliate / Traffic Networks
Pirates are stealing content so they can make money off it. Eliminate the source of revenue, and the business model because that much less lucrative. Using illegal means to generate traffic is against the TOS of every publisher network. Whether they honor it? That’s debatable. Either way, enough harassment and the webmaster will get banned. Here’s more information on it.
How Attacking Revenue Hurts Piracy
Pirates aren’t doing this “Out of the kindness of their hearts”. They’re doing this to make money. If they’re not able to effectively monetize the operation, it makes the business model that much less lucrative. When a domain gets black listed and a pirate gets booted from a program, they’re no longer able to monetize via that network. If they hypothetically got banned from everything, there would be no point in continueing the operation.
Illegal Activities Is Against All Terms of Service
Every single affiliate program, referral program and publisher network will have something in their terms of service that prohibits the use of illegal means to drive traffic. Piracy definitely falls into that category. Some will also have a formal DMCA process setup, so property right holders can report non-compliant webmasters. Whether they honor their TOS and boot the non-compliant publishers? That varies greatly from site to site.
How To Identify How Pirates Are Monetizing
This can either be very simple, or very tricky. Sometimes it’ll be a very blatant affiliate link and banner ad. Sometimes the referral links will be hidden by a 301 redirect. Some links to traffic networks are very obvious and some require a little bit of reverse-engineering. In order to see who’s providing pop-under ads, you’ll most likely need to check out the source code.
But it’s really all about the links for banner ads or text links. You’ll need to look at the scripts in the header to identify pop ads. It’s important to remember that if a company is using a traffic network, it’s the traffic network who is to blame and not necessarily the advertiser.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t bring it to the advertisers attention. Some advertisers might not even know that their ad is being displayed on a pirate site. They simply pay the traffic company and the traffic company generates the traffic. Bringing this to the advertisers attention might convince them to blacklist the site, reducing the pirate’s revenue.
DMCA Complaints: Follow Instructions Best As Possible
If the publisher network / affiliate program has a formal DMCA process, make sure to follow the instructions as best as possible. They network might request some information that is difficult to find. Name, address and contact information of the non-compliant publisher, for example. Obviously that information isn’t easy to obtain.
Also be careful about the privacy concerns. The information of the party filing the complaint might be shared with the non-compliant publisher. You do not want to get doxed.
Some Traffic Companies Blatantly Don't Care
This is a reoccurring theme wherever you go. Some companies simply do not care. They’re subsidizing the very thing that’s destroying the industry they’re apart of and that doesn’t seem to phase them. Why? Traffic and sales. You might ask; “But don’t they know there would be more money if we quit subsidizing piracy?”. You’re not the only one asking that question. All sentiment and logic aside; there will be companies that quite simply don’t care.
Platforms For DMCA Monitoring and Takedown
CamModelProtection – CamModelProtection is a DMCA monitoring and protection suite developed specifically for cam models. They’ve got several pricing tiers which provides different levels of service.
DMCA512 – (Mention Webcam Startup to get $200 Off!) DMCA512 is a DMCA monitoring company that has developed tools that allow them to look for files on tons of sites and even in different languages. DMCA512 actively monitors the internet for your pirated content and submits takedown notices whenever pirated material is discovered.
DMCA.com – DMCA.com gives you all the tools you need to submit your own DMCA takedown notices. They’ve got an easy to use form builder that allows you to generate and download PDF takedown letters. DMCA.com also provides badges for your websites and resources to learn more about DMCA.
Other Laws: 2257 Compliance, Trademark and Cyber-Squatting
DMCA isn’t the only law that comes into play when it comes to the fight against piracy. There are other laws that are equally important, if not more important. Sometimes DMCA isn’t enough to get a pirate site offline. In some countries, laws other than copyright carry more weight. When multiple violations are stacked on top of each other, that also carries more weight. Here are some other laws that can be leveraged against piracy.
2257 Record Keeping Compliance
The 2257 Record Keeping Requirements is a double-sided sword for the industry. It’s a law that carries a hefty five year mandatory minimum sentence for non-compliance, with some fairly “Loose” and “Shady” language. The Freedom of Speech Coalition has actually managed to get it declared unconstitutional in a federal court! That’s how “Questionable” this law is.
*BUT* this law can be wielded against piracy. Every single pirate is non-compliant with the record-keeping requirements. There’s no way they can have the age verification documentation that goes with all the clips and shows that are being pirated. So all copyright claims can also be paired with 2257 complaints. No if only we all knew that one person at the FBI that could make that one phone call…….
Trademark law carries more weight than copyright law. In order to get a trademark, you will have to make a small investment. It’s well worth it though. A cleaver trick is to trademark a watermark (or a logo used as a watermark). Any content with the watermark is now trademarked content.
Trademark law does also carries weight in some jurisdictions that copyright doesn’t. Trademark violations can also be paired with copyright violation, as well as non-compliance with 2257. Now we’re stacking three different violations on top of each other.
Cyber-Squatting And Getting Entire Domains Offline
This isn’t something that a performer or producer can [usually] pull off, but it’s something that the networks can. A lot of pirates will register a domain with one of the big-box site’s brand names, but using an obscure TLD. That is cyber-squatting. Cyber-squatting cases are cases that are generally won, even if it takes a while to do so. After the cyber-squatting case is won, the domain is transferred into the ownership of the winning party, and it is usually redirected to their main site. This is effective, as it takes out the entire domain and provides that traffic to the network itself.
Although this isn’t something that a performer or producer can leverage, that doesn’t mean it’s not relevant. If you run across a pirate site that could get taken down by cyber-squatting laws, report it to the network who has a case against them! If they take notice and legal action, that entire website could get taken offline!
Pirate Sites Hosted In Foreign Countries
Pirate sites hosted in foreign countries is a major issue. Certain countries don’t honor Western intellectual property laws, and that means that DMCA is a meaningless term. If the web host, registrar and pirate are all in a prohibition country, things can seem pretty hopeless. Luckily, it’s not. Here’s some things that can be done to combat foreign piracy.
The MADRID Protocol is an international treaty recognizing trademarks. It’s a very expensive thing to buy into (thousands) but it does gain the mark-holder jurisdiction in partner countries. And some of those partner countries include North Korea, Russia and China. Needless to say, it’s far reaching. This is probably the easiest and most effective way to gain jurisdiction in foreign countries that don’t honor US copyright.
Leveraging Embassies and Diplomacy
Believe it or not, this actually happens. Granted, the effectiveness varies from country to country and it takes a lot to get this to gain traction. Get enough complaints to an embassy though, and dialogues do get started. Helps if you’ve got the FBI and other government entities working with you.
Undermining Traffic and Income
There’s a lot of ways to go about doing this. We discussed submitting DMCA notices to search engines earlier. Since they’re all US-based, this is a very effective method of doing this. Another way is to simply out-market them. Where are these sites getting their traffic from? If you’re beating them at getting that traffic, it doesn’t really matter. This seems like a huge undertaking, and it is, but you’ll gain tons of benefits. Outside of mitigating piracy, it’s great marketing in general.
More Ways To Fight Pirated Cam Shows / Content
Although DMCA takedown notices are one of the most effective ways to get stolen content removed, they’re not the only way. In fact, sometimes DMCA takedowns won’t work (if the pirate site is in a country that doesn’t recognize Western intellectual property laws) and these alternative tactics are the only ones possible. Luckily there’s tons of different tools that performers have to protect their content.