Google Tries to Freeze Photographer’s DMCA Take Down Notice – Updated


Jason Wilder reports that he recently sent a DMCA Take Down Notice to Google.  In response, Google sent him a web form to prepare, which states:

Please note that a copy of each legal notice we receive is sent to a third-party which may publish and annotate it (with your personal information removed). As such, the content submitted in this form will be forwarded to Chilling Effects ( for publication.

Jason asked Google to not forward his notice to Chilling Effects.  Google responded as follows:


Thanks for reaching out to us.  While we understand your concerns, please note that due to our efforts to remain transparent about content removal our company’s policy is to send these notices to Chilling Effects (which redacts personal information before posting them). 

If you do not wish us to send your complaint to Chilling Effects, you may rescind your complaint and we will refrain from removing the content in question. Please let us know how you wish to proceed.

The Google Team

Nothing about 17 USC 512 requires that the complainant agree that his notice be made public and Google’s policy is not the law.  So by refusing to remove the copyrighted material, Google is now potentially liable for the infringement.  Now that’s cold.

Update – The unresolved issue is whether Google is prevented by copyright or other law from providing Jason’s take down notice to Chilling Effects, regardless of Jason’s preference.  The issue presented above is that Google refused to take down the allegedly infringing material unless Jason consented to the dissemination of his take down notice.  If Jason’s take down notice met the requirements of Section 512, then Google is required to take down the material or risk liability (unless the owner of the website with the allegedly infringing material files a counter notice, as discussed here:

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Carolyn E. Wright


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