DMCA Details
Updated 24th Jun 2022 05:26:PM

What is a DMCA Notice?

DMCA notice informs a company, web host, search engine, or internet service provider that they are hosting or linking to material that infringes on a copyright. The party that receives the notice should take down the material in question as soon as possible. If the site owner doesn't comply, the ISP can forcibly remove the content.

You can send out a DMCA notice, not just for infringing material, but also for any indices, references, or pointers that lead to infringing material.

DMCA (https://www.upcounsel.com/blog/dmca-takedown-notice) stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act. A DMCA notice is also known as a DMCA takedown notice or a DMCA request. The DMCA covers any copyrighted material (https://www.upcounsel.com/copyright-law) that could be infringed on the internet, including:

  • Written words, such as articles, books, poetry, etc.

  • Videos

  • Audio files, including music

  • Still artwork, including

  • photos and other images

  • Pictures that you've posted on your business's social media sites

  • Software

DMCA notices are not helpful when the company that is hosting the infringing material is not based in a country that respects these notices. 24/06/2022, 17:06 DMCA Notice: Everything You Need to Know https://www.upcounsel.com/dmca-notice 2/7

Background of the DMCA

Congress approved the DMCA in 1998, and President Bill Clinton signed it into law. The act came into being in response to the growing problem of peer-to-peer file sharing websites that made it easier for people to illegally access copyrighted movies, music, and more. Lawmakers and media companies worked together to create the DMCA.

In addition to protecting copyright owners, the DMCA also protects internet service providers (http://www.sfwa.org/2013/03/the-dmca-takedown-notice-demystified/) (ISPs), sometimes called online service providers (OSPs). An ISP, or OSP, is any company that provides online services or network access. As long as these ISPs comply with DMCA notices and make reasonable efforts to stop copyright infringement (https://www.upcounsel.com/copyright-infringement), they are protected from infringement lawsuits. This protection is valid if ISPs didn't have knowing participation in the infringement and they didn't gain financial benefits from it.

Another perk for ISPs is that if the material in question turns out not to have infringed on a copyright, the ISP's customer — the person who posted the material in question — can't take legal action against the ISP for removing the content.

Since it went into effect, the DMCA has met with a few problems. For example, web hosts and search engines should have a DMCA agent, and this agent should be registered with the US Copyright Office. However, this registration comes with a fee that many companies do not want to pay. Therefore, while DMCA agent information is usually easy to find online, the listings from the Copyright Office are seldom up to date. There are ongoing efforts to cut the fees so the Copyright's Office's listings will be able to keep up.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • After you file a DMCA notice, how long will it be before the copyright-infringing work is removed? This depends on the company that received the notice. Search engines, including Google, may take up to 10 days to remove the content. Web hosts might take a day or less.

  • Do file sharing sites respect DMCA notices? In most cases, yes. Even file sharing sites that are not based in the United States may respect your takedown notice.

  • What if you can't figure out where to send the DMCA notice? If you can't find the contact information for the web host or search engine online, you could attempt to send the notice via snail mail. However, you'll usually be able to find an email address. If you can't figure out what company is hosting a site, try a WHOIS search (https://whois.icann.org/en) or a DNS lookup TALK TO A TOP LAWYER FOR FREE × 24/06/2022, 17:06 DMCA Notice: Everything You Need to Know https://www.upcounsel.com/dmca-notice 3/7 (http://research.domaintools.com/research/dns/). Another option is to try to find the information for the company's DMCA agent on the Copyright Office's registry of agents (https://www.copyright.gov/onlinesp/list/a_agents.html).

  • Can you get payment from the person who infringed on your material? When a site owner or web host obeys your DMCA notice, this does not mean that you are going to get reimbursement. If you want to be paid damages, you have to contact a lawyer and discuss your options. Keep in mind that while your material doesn't need to be registered with the Copyright Office for you to use a DMCA, registering makes it more likely that you'll get compensation for infringement if it happens.

How Can You Send a DMCA Notice?

You can send a DMCA notice yourself, or you can hire a DMCA agent to do it for you. If you choose to do it yourself, you must be careful to follow the correct steps. Failing to do so could make your request invalid.

Notes to Keep in Mind

It's not required for you to register a copyright on your work in order for it to receive DMCA protection (https://www.upcounsel.com/dmca-protection). However, registering the copyright could make things easier on you if you end up in a legal battle.

You should know what fair use (https://www.upcounsel.com/fair-use) means and make sure that your article or artwork isn't considered fair use material. Fair use is part of copyright law (https://www.upcounsel.com/copyright-law) that allows others to use portions of copyrighted material without asking for permission. They may use it for "transformative" purposes, which means that they can use excerpts to criticize, comment on, or parody your work. Also, you can't complain that your work was infringed on if it falls under free speech protections.

Before you issue a DMCA notice, you might first try to contact the owner of the site with the copyrighted material in a friendly way. The owner might not have known that you own the content. They may have found the content on another site where you didn't know your content was posted, and learning about this could lead you to the real guilty party. If your work was infringed on multiple websites, you'll have to issue a DMCA notice for each instance of infringement. Writing and Sending the DMCA Notice