Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The Quick and Dirty DMCA Takedown Notice Guide, V2.0

  • What is the DMCA?
    • The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was enacted in 1998 as part of treaties signed at the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Geneva Conference.
    • It relates to files, images, documents, etc. accessible on the Internet.
  • What does this do?
    • It provides a safe harbor for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for hosting content.
    • To prevent an ISP from being liable for copyright violation penalties, they MUST remove materials from their users’ websites upon being given notice by a copyright holder.
    • A proper request will cause the ISP to remove the copyrighted content directly.
  • What does notice look like?
    • See the this pdf for an example.
    • Anything in [brackets] must be modified to be specific to your claim
  • Does the material need to be registered with the U.S Copyright Office to be protected?
    • No!
    • This copyright infringement remedy does NOT require a registered copyright.
  • If a copyright notice © has never been placed on the art/film/artistic work, is it protected?
    • You are automatically given copyright protection on anything you create, whether or not you put a formal copyright notice on your creation.
    • It is simple enough to add a “© 2017 Jane Doe” to put people on notice.
    • If you are commercially exploiting something (selling it), spend the $35.00 to register it – you’ll get a lot more protections and remedies, but I digress.
  • How do I find the ISP of the website infringing on my copyright?
    • Many major sites, like Roku, Flickr, YouTube, etc., have direct links to send notices.
    • eBay and Amazon have specific provisions to make copyright claims.
    • Future revisions of this guide will have a links section
    • If it is some other web site, a whois search will help you find that.
      • here is a pdf for a WHOIS Walkthrough.
      • All ISPs have a specific division to report copyright violations
    • Can the infringing party fight the takedown notice?
      • Yes!
      • Most of the time, they do not bother, since they cannot prove ownership.