Monday, 10 June 2013

How To Write A DMCA Take Down Notice

Unfortunately, a cease and desist letter might not have the required effect when it comes to online copy infringement but this is not the only course of action available. Victims of copy theft can send a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) take down notice to the offending website owner’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) in order to get it removed. An ISP must comply with the DMCA in order to ensure that their protection against liability, which exists within the Safe Harbour provision, is retained. The act states that ISPs must remove materials from the websites of their users if it violates copyright law and this must be done within a reasonable amount of time after the ISP has been notified of the breach.

A formal take down request must be made in writing and the notice should be structured correctly. There are several specific details which are requirements and therefore have to be included:

  • A statement saying that you are the copyright holder or have been authorised by the copyright holder to act on their behalf - only the copyright holder/authorised person can issue a complaint
  • Details about the stolen content – you must identify the work that allegedly has been copied and submit where it can be found
  • Details about the infringing material – you must include sufficient information about the copied content and how to locate and access it
  • Your contact details – you need to supply your contact details which must also include your physical address
  • Two statements – you need to include a statement which confirms the “good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described as allegedly infringing is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law”. You must also include a statement which says that, “under the penalty of perjury, the information contained in the notification is accurate".
  • Your signature – finally, you must sign the document either physically or electronically

What happens after you have sent your notice?

If the information you have provided is correct and you are successful, the offending content will be taken down:

Google posts all details of any notices on the Chilling Effects website ( so you can view the results there if you have been dealing with Google.  The names of individuals are always excluded but all other details are recorded including both the sender and recipient information as well as details about both websites.

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