How Camgirls and Porn Producers Can Fight Piracy
Stolen content is something that all content producers, webcam models and other adult stars must deal with. Stolen content comes in many forms, ranging from users uploading capped shows to tube sites to webmasters using the stolen content for monetization. There are also other challenges that producers must face. Western intellectual property right only go so far, and some countries do not honor these laws. This can be a frustrating reality, but luckily, there’s quite a few ways to fight back. Here’s everything you need to know about fighting piracy.
Table of Contents:
- Submitting DMCA Complaints To Pirate Sites
- Removing Links To Stolen Content From Google
- Submitting DMCA Complaints to Web Hosts
- Reporting Pirates To Affiliate Programs / Traffic Networks
- Trademarking A Watermark and Watermarking Content
- Get Uploaded Content Removed From Tube Sites
- Out-Marketing The Pirates: Reclaim Stolen Traffic
- All Pirates Are Non-Compliant With 2257
- Cyber-Squatting: Reclaiming Misleading Domains
Submitting A DMCA Complaint To The Infringing Site
DMCA (short for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) is a federal law that protects the intellectual property rights of creators. Best of all, you don’t even need copyrights or trademarks to be able to leverage DMCA. If you created it, you own the rights to it. A DMCA Complaint is a notice that’s sent to the infringing party, or a 3rd party playing a role in the infringement. DMCA is the first tool in the anti-piracy arsenal, but there’s some important things to know, and a right way to go about doing it. Here’s the details.
Warning About Submitting Your Own DMCA Requests!
One major privacy issue with DMCA is the fact that contact information must be included on the official takedown notice. There have been horror stories of shady pirates using the contact information as blackmail! NEVER USE YOUR REAL INFORMATION! If your camming or clip site offers DMCA services, it’s best to let them handle the request (more info below). I’ve talked with models who have said they’ve been successful submitting requests under their performer name, so that is something you can attempt. Be sure to use a PO box (preferably in a different town) and a phone number that uses a non-local area code.
Does Your Camming / Clip Site Offer DMCA Services?
If your camming or clip site offers DMCA services, this is the best route to go. Because the content was stolen off their sites, they also hold rights to the content. Therefore, they can also submit takedown requests. When a network submits a request, it has the network’s contact information instead of the model’s.
Partnering With A DMCA Agency
The other option is to partner with a DMCA agency. This will cost you some money, but you get what you pay for. These agencies go above and beyond simply submitting takedown requests. Many of them have crawlers that scan the internet, proactively looking for your content. Some even incorporating advanced tech such as facial recognition. Many of these agencies will even take it beyond DMCA and use other tactics (such as those mentioned in this article) to get stolen content removed.
Not All Webmasters Will Honor DMCA Takedown Requests
It’s important to realize that not all webmasters will honor DMCA takedown requests. Many of these sites are hosted on foreign servers where American intellectual property laws hold no weight. This can be insanely frustrating, but the fight isn’t over. There’s still tons of tactics you can use in the fight against piracy. All of these techniques are covered below.
Submitting A DMCA Complaint To Google
Google is the largest search engine and usually the top traffic source for pirate sites. Google is also American-based, meaning that they need to honor western intellectual property laws, including DMCA. Google also makes it incredibly easy to submit DMCA takedown requests. Once a request is received, Google will remove the URLs containing the stolen content from their search results. This can also be used with image results and video results.
Google DMCA Doesn’t Remove The Actual Content From The Internet
Google only has the power to remove the infringing URLs from their search results and other products. Google can’t remove the actual files from a site. The files will still be accessible, just not something people will be able to find using Google. While this won’t remove the stolen content, it is still a valuable tool, as it’ll greatly hinder the pirate’s traffic. Instead of finding the pirate’s content, searchers will find your profiles and promotional content.
Google Doesn’t Really Vet The People Submitting DMCA Complaints
Google doesn’t really much as far as vetting who is submitting the requests. In fact, there have been cases where people have submitted false takedown requests, posing as actual camming sites. Therefore, there’s a good chance that submitting requests under your stage name and with alternative contact information will fly. This is important, as the actual takedown notices will be posted on the Lumen Database. You don’t want your personal information made public, attached to a bunch of content under your stage-name.
Number Of DMCA Complaints Hurts Google Rankings
Not only do Google DMCA complaints get the URLs to your content removed, it also hurts the rankings of the entire domain. Google has confirmed that the number of DMCA complaints filed against an individual domain do count as a ranking factor and do hurt the sites rankings. This helps reduce their overall content, regardless of who it belongs to.
Submitting DMCA Notices To The Web Host
Another action that can be taken is submitting a DMCA Takedown Notice directly to the pirate’s web host. The process might vary slightly for the different web hosts. For example, some might have a form system, while others might only list an email address. When dealing with the web hosting companies, it’s important to follow the instructions precisely and provide as much information as possible. Failure to follow the instructions, or insufficient information could nullify your takedown request.
Same Privacy Issues Exist
The same privacy issues with submitting DMCA takedown requests apply to the web hosts. The web hosts will require that you provide personal information. Some web hosts might redact certain information, but it’s important to make sure that this is the case.
Follow The Instructions As Best As Possible
When submitting DMCA takedown requests to the web hosts, it’s important to follow their instructions as best as possible. The process might vary from web host to web host. They’ll also most likely ask for information you might not have. For example; most web hosts ask for contact information of the infringing party. Pirates don’t make it a habit of giving out contact information on a silver platter. Do the best you can.
Having The Camming Site or DMCA Agency Submit Requests
Some camming sites and clip sites will submit DMCA takedown notices to the web hosting companies on your behalf. This is usually only when there’s pirates scraping and uploading content on a massive scale. If you’re using a DMCA agency, the agency will also most likely submit these requests on your behalf. Not only does this same time and effort, but mitigates all the privacy concerns.
Reporting Webmasters To Traffic Networks / Affiliate Programs
These pirates are in it for the money. They’re monetizing the stolen content with the use of traffic companies and affiliate programs. The traffic companies sell the traffic (usually pop-under or banner) to advertisers in their network. The affiliate programs enable the webmaster to promote a specific network or product. Most traffic companies and affiliate networks do not allow webmasters to send them traffic from sites engaged in illegal activities, such as piracy.
Trademarking Your Watermark and Watermarking Everything!
Watermarking your content is a good practice to begin with. It works as a form of promotion, and makes it easier to identify your content. Trademarking your watermark is an easy way to provide additional protection. Trademarks hold more legal weight than DMCA alone. Webmasters and companies are more likely to respond to trademark violations, as it’s a harsher fine in court. It’s also possible to file foreign trademarks and gain a legal foothold in countries that don’t recognize DMCA.
Getting Content Removed From Tube Sites
Tube sites can be a great marketing tool, but also provides a platform for users to upload stolen clips or capped shows. Luckily, all the major tube sites are responsive towards DMCA complaints (some better than others). There should be a DMCA link that’s easy to find on each tube site. Usually a site-wide footer link. Be sure to follow the directions precisely and give as much information as possible.
The Value Of Being A Verified Performer / Channel
There’s plenty of advantages to having a verified profile or branded channel on the tube sites. Most of them offer some sort of advertising dollar revenue-share. Tube sites can also make very good promotional tools. Uploading watermarked teaser clips can generate tons of followers, traffic and sales.
The other advantage to being verified is that it makes getting stolen content removed that much easier. The tube site already knows that you are the party making the copyright claim. This saves time and effort vetting the DMCA takedown requests.
Watermarking Videos Can Make Takedown Requests Easier
Having a watermark on the content makes it easily identifiable. This will make it much easier to prove that the content is yours. Anything that makes it easier to prove the content is yours will help in the initial takedown request. It also makes it harder for the uploader to challenge the takedown request.
Fighting Piracy Through Better Marketing
Better marketing not only results in more sales, but it also lessens the impact the pirate content has. How are people discovering the pirated content? Via social media? Tube sites? Search engines? Doing a better job of marketing, especially via the channels the pirates are on, ensures that the customers are finding your promotional material instead of the pirated material. It’s much better that they’re interacting with the content on your sites and profiles, rather than that of a pirate’s. Here’s some tips on out-promoting the pirates.
Outranking Pirates In The Search Engines
If you Google your name (or other queries containing your name) and a bunch of tube sites, torrent sites and pirate sites come up, you’ve got an SEO problem. The good news is that you’re able to fix it. Here are some tips for better search engine rankings:
Build A Website – Your own personal website stands the best chance of ranking best for your performer name and other queries. Not only that, but you can also generate revenue from your site! There’s tons of different website building platforms for models. In fact, you can build a website 100% free without any knowledge of hosting or coding.
Be On Every Social Media Platform – Even the SFW ones. Facebook might not be as effective as Twitter for marketing, but they rank very highly. Especially for names. Same goes with all the other social media platforms. This is especially true when compared to porn sites. Search engines will always rank mainstream sites higher for mainstream queries (like names).
Get Added To Review / Directory Sites – There’s tons of review sites (for adult websites), model directory sites and other sites of that nature. Many of these sites require an affiliate program (more info below) to get added. These are legitimate sites that are meant to promote you, and it’s better they discover you on these sites, rather than a pirate site.
Learn the SEO Best Practices – Knowing what impacts SEO can help you rank your website better. It can also help you rank your profile pages on camming sites, clip sites and other valuable web properties. Learn more about SEO.
Report Pirated Content To Google – We covered this in-depth earlier in the article, but it’s worth mentioning again in this section. By submitting DMCA notices to Google, you can get those URLs removed from the search engine. This way, the browsers only find the valuable results that work for you instead of against you.
Outranking Pirates In Video Search
Video search is another place where pirated content is easily findable. Usually more-so than regular search. This is especially true for those pesky tube sites, but also for videos the pirates are hosting themselves. Here are some tips to combat piracy in the video results.
YouTube and Vimeo Are Your Best Friends – YouTube and Vimeo are both SFW platforms. Google is more likely to rank SFW content instead of porn. Believe it or not, they’re also great marketing tools. If you can become a YouTube personality, there are creative ways to turn those fans into customers. You’ll also dominate the video search results.
Be On The Tube Sites – Become a verified amateur and create branded channels. You’ll be able to drive traffic and promote the services you offer. Many tubes also pay a revshare off the advertising profits, making it an income stream itself. Having a branded channel also increases the chance that surfers will find the promotional content instead of the pirated content. Both in the tube’s internal search, as well as on the search engines.
Sell Clips On Sites With Video Previews – If you’re selling on clip sites with video previews, those previews get indexed in video search. Having the video search results flooded with these short video previews means surfers are more likely to hit the pages on the clip stores instead of a pirate site.
Fighting Piracy On The Tube Sites
The tube sites can be real nasty when it comes to piracy. They can also be valuable promotional tools and a new revenue stream. Here’s some tips to fight piracy on the tube sites and turn them into profitable marketing tools:
Get Verified / Branded Channels – Having a verified account and a branded channel helps you get discovered easier and helps drive traffic. Certain sites also offer a revshare from advertising revenue. So not only are you making it more likely that tube surfers find your official channel, opposed to stolen content, but you’re also driving traffic and earning additional revenue.
Report Stolen Material – If you discover stolen content on the tube sites, report it to the network. They can either remove it or transfer it to your branded account.
Publish Frequent Teaser / Promo Videos – Publishing frequent promo material increases the likelihood that surfers will find your content instead of stolen content. It also makes for more effective marketing within the tube sites themselves.
Fighting Piracy On Social Media
Social media is another place where stolen content gets shared. Sometimes thieves are using social media to drive traffic to their sites. Other times, it’s people just sharing stolen content. Either way, it can cut into your bottom-line. Here’s some tips for fighting piracy on social media.
Hashtags – If a pirate is using specific hashtags, trying to “takeover” those hashtags is a valid strategy. It could also be a double-sided sword, as you don’t want to be driving traffic to the hashtag page, if they’re able to get free stolen content there.
Report Abusive Accounts – Most social media sites give users multiple ways to go about reporting accounts or specific posts. If you get an entire account banned for content theft, you don’t have to worry about the individual posts. Some methods of reporting accounts, like DMCA for example, requires that the information of the content owner is shared with the violating party. So be careful not to give the pirate your personal information!
Legit Promotional Handles – There are many legit social media promoters out there. Most of them are affiliate marketers that are partnered with the various networks. Getting promoted by these legit handles means they’re going to be challenging the content thieves for the same social media traffic.
Fighting Piracy On Forums and Communities
There’s tons of different adult forums, communities and other networks on the internet. Because these sites are ran off “User-Generated Content”, you frequently have users uploading your content. A lot of times this can actually work as a form of promotion, but sometimes it’s malicious. Reporting users uploading pirated content to the admins is an easy way to get it removed. Being active in these communities also gives you more of a control over the content and dialogue, instead of the pirates. Many of these sites can also work as great marketing channels.
Running An Affiliate Program
Running an affiliate program is a great way to enable good webmasters and keep control over the content that’s being shared throughout the internet. An affiliate program is where webmasters promote your services and get commissions on new sales. Because affiliates only get paid when they refer sales, there’s no upfront costs and all commissions will be justified by sale amount.
You’re in control over what content the affiliates have to promote you. This gives you more control over the content being spread around the internet. Better that it’s the promotional content you want out there, instead of full HD videos ripped off a clip site.
These affiliates are also going to be fighting pirates over the same type of traffic. This will occur on every marketing channel. It’s much better that customers are interacting with affiliate content, meant to drive you traffic and sales, instead of pirated content, which is meant to drive the pirate traffic and sales.
If you’re interested in running an affiliate program, ModelCentro makes it incredibly easy to do so. They handle all the technical aspects of running the program. Models simply have to enable it from their dashboard. It’s recommended that you reach the requirements to be featured in MCProfits. MCProfits has tons of great webmasters and is much more effective than not being featured in the network.
All Pirates Are Non-Compliant With 2257
It’s important to realize that copyright isn’t the only law that pirates are non-compliant with. All pirates are also non-compliant with the 2257 Record Keeping Requirements. This is a federal offense and a big deal in the United States. It’s also a big deal in a number of other countries as well. Being able to stack the 2257 Compliance on-top of the copyright infringement gives more legal ammunition. Sometimes in jurisdictions where copyright isn’t that big of a deal.
Cyber Squatting Laws Can Take Down Entire Domains
This isn’t a tactic that an independent performer can usually leverage, but it is a cleaver tactic to get entire domains taken down. Unfortunately this doesn’t work with every pirate site. The pirate site has to be using the companies brand name in the domain name. Usually it’s the brand name with a different TLD. If the camming site wins the cyber squatting case, the infringing party will be forced to transfer over the entire domain, which usually gets redirected to the company’s main site.
Happy Pirate Hunting!
Hopefully this information helps you on your crusade against piracy. We’ll continue to explore the different tactics and tools available in the fight against piracy. As new concepts and techniques get discovered, we’ll be updating this post to address them. Fighting piracy is a daunting endeavor, but at least there’s tools at our exposure and you are not alone in this fight. It’s a problem that impacts the entire industry, and there’s a lot of people in the industry actively trying to combat this problem.