Multiple website owners of hentai, doujin, manga, adult comic book, and porn websites have been affected by hundreds of DMCA takedown notices filed by an unknown copyright claimant, which managed to get multiple homepages, links, and category pages removed from Google’s search engines after filing false claims against some of these sites. Well, a few of the website owners are exploring legal actions since being delisted from Google is negatively impacting their sites without reasonable cause.
The owner of some hentai sites, the owner of Gelbooru.com, and a few other adult web portals have all come together to explore legal options regarding recourse after many of their site pages were delisted unceremoniously by Google due to multiple DMCA claims made by an unknown claimant. Gelbooru’s owner explained in a statement to One Angry Gamer…
“[…] we have been actively exploring our legal options and have found a few candidates to represent us if it gets that far. We hope it’ll be resolved without getting to that point.”
According to the owner of the rule34.xxx website, he’s confident that they’ll be able to get their content restored after they file the appeals to have their pages restored.
In an e-mail to One Angry Gamer, he explained…
“In addition if google refuses to restore the content we are optimistic that once we start a small lawsuit it will get resolved rather quickly as per DMCA law if no lawsuit is filed to us after we submit a counter google must restore content within 10 to 14 business days.”
This is true. As noted on the Cornell Law School website, according to the U.S., copyright law under title 17, chapter 5, section 512, sub-section (g) (2)-(B), if after an appeal is made and legal action isn’t taken by the claimant after 10 to 14 business days, the removed or disabled content must be exempt from removal.
So now that some website owners have filed appeals or counter-notifications regarding the DMCA claims, the original DMCA filers will either have to move forward with legal action or allow the content to be restored, assuming Google holds up its end of the bargain.
As it stands, more sites are still being hit with DMCA notices after the initial wave targeted a bunch of anime and hentai sites, forcing many of their pages off of the Google search engine due to the claims. Some of the sites that were targeted, such as YouPorn and xHamster were unaffected by the DMCA claims, as Google did not uphold requests to have their homepages wiped from the search index. Others such as e-hentai, Gelbooru, Hanime.tv, and others weren’t so lucky.
Also, according to the owner of rule34.xxx, other sites have been affected after the initial publishing of our article, including the home pages for HmangaSearcher.com, Xlecx.com, elog-ch.net, doujin-eromanga.com, and nhentai, among many others, as noted over on the Lumen Database entry filed on June 10th, 2019.
Sites like Zerochan.net, Luscious.net, and ThePorndude.com were also included in the DMCA notice but Google has yet to remove their homepages from the index.
[Correction 8/27/2019:] According to Lucious.net, they offered a correction noting that they were removed from Google’s index, but they filed a DMC counter-notice and managed to have their site restored to the index 20 days later.
This all started back on June 4th, 2019, as reported by TorrentFreak, and it has been escalating since then. Initially people assumed it was DLSite responsible because some of the original works for the copyright infringement was attributed to their store, but after reaching out to DLSite the adult web portal responded by explaining that they were not the ones who filed the DMCA claims, especially since some of their web pages were impacted by the DMCA takedowns.
At this point we’ll see if Google honors the counter-claims and restores the websites that were negatively impacted by the the false claims, especially since some of them don’t even contain any kind of infringing material on their homepages, or if Google will keep removing and delisting these sites from the index due to the constant barrage of claims made by the mystery copyright agent.