The Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA was enacted into law in the late 1990s when the commercially available internet was still fairly new. The law was written to achieve several purposes but the overall goal was to address online copyright infringement in a way that balances the interests of copyright owners, online service providers and Internet users.
To protect copyright owners from infringement of their works, the DMCA allows them to ask website administrators to remove infringing material quickly without having to resort to litigation.
If an infringing copy of your copyrighted work appears online and you want it removed you or your authorized representative can send a DMCA takedown notice to the service provider that is hosting the material.
You should locate the DMCA link on the providers platform where you will find instructions and the providers own form for submitting a takedown request. If you can’t find the provider’s takedown form, we may help you locate it. If the site administrator does not provide its own form, you will need to draft and send your own DMCA takedown notice and when the service provider receives your takedown request they will usually remove the infringing content within a few days and no further action is needed.
In most cases the service provider will notify the user who posted your material about the takedown notice before removing the infringing content.
The turnaround time between the sending of a notice and removal of the material will vary depending on the site’s internal practices. If the user believes the takedown notice was filed in error, they may send a counter notice to the service provider requesting that the material be reposted and if a valid counter notice is filed, the service provider will notify you and send you a copy of the counter notice and restore the material to the platform within 10 to 14 days unless you provide proof that you’ve taken legal action against the user prior to the material being reposted.
Before sending a DMCA takedown notice, here are some guidelines you should know.
Most internet providers have a page on their site where you may find instructions and the provider’s own form for submitting a DMCA takedown request. If you can’t find the provider’s takedown form then we may help you to locate it.
If the site does not provide its own form you will need to draft and send your own DMCA takedown request to find out where to send a takedown notice.
The US Copyright Office website hosts a DMCA Agent Directory where you can find the contact information for the service providers designated DMCA Agent the designated agent is the party to whom all notices for a given service provider must be sent.
The DMCA takedown notice should include the following information:
What happens if you receive a takedown notice for your own content or if you believe that you did not infringe on the notice sender’s work?
If the content you uploaded is subject of a takedown request that you believe was made in error, you may decide to file a DMCA counter notice to have the content re-posted.
The counter notice should be sent to the service provider and when the service provider notifies you about the DMCA takedown request, they may also provide you with instructions for filing a counter notice, including where to send the counter notice.
If the service provider does not provide this information, you can find out where to send a counter notice by accessing DMCA Designated Agent Directory located in the U.S. Copyright Office Website.
The Designated Agent is a party to whom all takedown notices and counter notices for a given service provider must be sent.
The counter notice should include the following information: