I can’t believe that it was almost two years since the Remove Your Media incident happened to my blog. And it took me long enough to talk about it.
So, why did I decide to talk about it now?
Truth to be told, I just forgot about it. Sure, it was a terrifying thing to happen to me at that time since their claim was legit. It wasn’t a scammer who tried to scare me and wanted me to pay them to resolve my website issue.
The good news is the issue did get resolved eventually without my website being shut down for the wrong reason.
If it does, I’m sure that you won’t be reading this blog post right now.
Perhaps it’s because of this reason that the issue no longer bothered me anymore. It was only when I talked about the scanlation website in this blog post that reminded me of that incident.
Here I am, opening the can of worm about the thing that happened between this blog and Remove Your Media.
How it all started
I remember that it was December 2018 that I received an email from my hosting legal department. Seeing that it was from a legal department, I thought that it was a scammer at first.
I’m not sure about you. But I did receive tons of scam emails telling me all sorts of things about my website and also my domain name is in danger.
Heck, I even received an email from someone pretending to be CIA and claimed that I possessed child pornographic materials!
Despite my skepticism, I decided to open the email, anyway.
That was when I realized that the email itself wasn’t a scam email. The email indeed did come from my hosting.
In the email, they said that they were flagging one of the posts on my website due to copyright infringement. And the company that made the claim was Remove Your Media.
What part of my website got flagged?
Surprise, surprise, it was my blog post about Girlish Number.
My hosting even threatened me that they would shut down my website if I didn’t remove the post from my website.
Feeling perplexed and scared, I deleted the post, notified them that I already removed the post from my website, and moved on with my life.
How did the post get flagged by Remove Your Media in the first place?
Here’s the funny part: the email didn’t mention anything why the post got flagged other than it was due to copyright infringement.
Was it because of the image that I used in that blog post?
Well, it could be. But other blogs are also using anime images in their blog too. And as far as I recalled, it was fine to use the anime images as long as I didn’t claim it as mine.
If it wasn’t the image, then what?
My guess is it may have something to do with the word multimedia in the post title. That could be the reason why it got flagged in the first place. I don’t see any reason why they would want to flag the post since there wasn’t any link in that post either.
What in the world these people are thinking?
At this point, you must be thinking that this company was flagging the blog post specifically for an absurd reason.
Well, guess what? My blog isn’t the only one that got flagged for the wrong reason due to inaccurate evidence.
Another website that got flagged for the same reason as mine is No Nonsense Anime Blog.
The reason why it got flagged? The article contained an episode and a numeral in the title, mimicking the illegal anime download website.
Just like my blog post, the article doesn’t even violate copyrights, has no link to download, and no embedded video.
So, what do these situations say about Remove Your Media?
It means that Remove Your Media doesn’t even check whether these contents do have anything illegal or not. Their so-called algorithm is flagging every single content on the Internet that has keywords that the illegal website will use. They think that having these keywords are good enough evidence to file for copyright infringement.
Even worst? Their system automatically sent the cease-and-desist letters and DMCA take-down notices to the hosting companies.
Okay, I’m not sure about that last part. Even if it doesn’t happen on autopilot, it’s possible that they’re sending massive cease-and-desist letters and DMCA take-down notices in drove with a click of a button.
What you should do if you receive a cease-and-desist letter and DMCA take-down notice
You may not like what I’m about to suggest you do. But the best way for you to resolve this issue is to remove the content that got flagged for copyright infringement.
If you’re using WordPress, the good news is the post that you deleted will still be in the trash for a while. You can restore the post again once Remove Your Media already confirm that the post doesn’t violate the copyright.
That was what happened to my post about Girlish Number. I restored the blog post after Remove Your Media contacted me, telling me that they were flagging my post by mistake. They told me that they already contacted my hosting about the error. But for some reason, the hosting company ignored their request. They even said that the hosting company was notorious for ignoring take-down notice removal.
To be honest, I wasn’t suspecting anything when they told me that my hosting, Hostgator ignored their request.
But when I think about it now, I had a feeling that they didn’t want to contact the hosting because they didn’t want the hosting company to blast them for filing a false accusation.
Well, refusing to correct the situation themselves will only highlight how flawed is their algorithm. I feel sorry for the Japan Creative Contents Alliance for relying on that kind of company to combat piracy.
They were paying a huge amount of money to them. But what they do was to flag anime blogs that have nothing to do with these illegal websites at all.
It was nice of them to apologize to me because of the error. But it will be so much better if they refine their algorithm so then many innocent anime blogs won’t get into the crosshair for the wrong reason.
P.S Are you into a story where things suddenly take an ugly turn? If that’s you, then you may enjoy reading my light novel, The Diary of Modern Cinderella.
You can learn more about the light novel and download a sample chapter right here: