I'm always a bit nervous when I receive emails from Google, as it is more often than not a bad thing if it is webmaster related. I received a notice of DMCA removal from Google Search this morning about this page on Ghacks. The company sending the DMCA? Microsoft.
It is a tag page that is listing two articles with no outgoing links and four lines of text each. There is no image, download link or anything else that Microsoft may have identified as infringing on the company's copyright.
When I try to open the notice on Chilling Effects I get the information that the notice is currently not available and that it will be posted after it has been processed which may take weeks.
Google has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that some of your materials allegedly infringe upon the copyrights of others. The URLs of the allegedly infringing materials may be found at the end of this message. The notice that we received, with any personally identifying information removed, may be found at http://www.chillingeffects.org/notice.cgi?sID=508157.
I'm no expert on US copyright law, but I can't really see anything wrong with this page. My best guess would be that Microsoft is - once again - sending out notices in bulk and that the page has mistakenly identified by the company.
While it is likely that the company is going after sites that post links pointing to downloads of the recently released Windows 8 RTM build, it feels like a huge oversight if sites get dragged into this that have nothing to do with this kind of behavior.
I do have to take this serious though as Google a few days ago announced that copyright removal notices have been added as a ranking signal to the search engine's ranking algorithm.
Before I file a counter-claim, I'd like to ask you to take a look at the page to let me know your opinion on the removal request. Thanks in advanced for your help.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.