If you find content that you own the copyright to (e.g., text, image, video, or audio content) which has been published on a website without your permission, you can send a DMCA Takedown Notice to the site owner or the site’s internet service provider (ISP)/hosting company in an attempt to have it removed.
What is a DMCA Takedown Notice?
A DMCA Takedown Notice is a request to have your content removed from a website. Your content could be text, photos or images, videos, quizzes, communications, games, applications, and more. As the copyright owner, you have a right to protect your creative work.
The DMCA Takedown Notice was created as a tool to help curb online infringement and facilitate affordable enforcement of copyright rights. If the DMCA Takedown Notice is properly completed and filed, the ISP/hosting company is required to remove or “take down” the infringing content and immediately notify the alleged infringer that it received (and complied with) a DMCA Takedown Notice regarding his/her/its content. Often, website owners don’t even realize that content on their sites is infringing on another’s copyrights.
What is an ISP/Hosting Company?
Every website is hosted by a hosting company such as GoDaddy, BlueHost, HostGator, and so on. These companies store all of the content for their customers’ websites and display those sites to people who visit them using their web browsers. Many social networking companies, like Facebook and Twitter, host their websites internally, making them both the owner of the website and the hosting company.
You can usually find a website’s hosting company using a free online lookup tool like the one offered by WhoIsHostingThis.com. Just enter the website into the search box, and you’ll see which company is hosting the site. There are many free tools that you can use to identify a site’s web host. Just be sure to send the DMCA Takedown Notice to the web hosting company that is actually hosting the content, which might be different from the company through which the domain name was originally registered.
The hosting company is required to provide current contact information for submitting a DMCA Takedown Notice. You can usually find this under the “Legal” tab in the footer of the hosting company’s site. You can also find this information on the U.S. Copyright Office website.
What is the DMCA?
The DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) was enacted by Congress in 1998. There are five parts to the law, but the relevant part for DMCA Takedown Notices is the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (OCILLA).
In simplest terms, the DMCA provides a safe harbor for online service providers (OSPs), including ISPs and social networking sites, against copyright infringement liability that meet specific requirements. One of those requirements is to promptly remove or block access to allegedly infringing material when the copyright owner, or the copyright owner’s agent, sends a notice that identifies the infringement claim.
If the alleged infringer sends a counter-notice claiming that the material posted is not infringing, the OSP must notify the copyright owner upon receipt of that notice and let the owner know that it may replace the removed material or block access to it within a certain period of time (usually 10-14 days) unless the copyright owner pursues legal action against the alleged infringer within that period.
Free DMCA Takedown Notice Template
You can follow the link or click the image below to download a free DMCA Takedown Notice Template from Innovation to Profits which includes the minimum required information.
The template is an easily editable Microsoft Word file. Just enter your information into the fields provided to create your own notice in letter format.
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