Sending a DMCA Takedown Notice: Everything You Need to Know

Have you ever had a mind-blowing idea—one that scared even you out of your wits😁? Or maybe you worked on a team that created something novel, something out of this world🌎. Or perhaps you just made something cool that you were proud of. In all these scenarios, you might just end up sending a DMCA takedown notice down the line when someone tried to steal your great idea. 

Ideas are powerful weapons bright minds use to change the world around them. Famed German writer Goethe once said, “Daring ideas are like chessmen♟️ moving forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.” It is never easy🤦🏾‍♂️; think of the effort, the time spent building points, the critical thinking🧠 phase, and so on. It’s hard work, but the returns are definitely worth it!

But sometimes, when this idea or creation 💡 of yours (to which you hold exclusive rights as the copyright owner) reaches fruition, something bad happens. Someone else snatches it from you or makes use of it for their financial benefit. They do this without getting permission from you or seeking your consent in any way. Unless they’re exempt according to the fair usage clause (such as when a work is used for educational purposes, it’s time to send a DMCA takedown notice. 

Who Ends Up Sending a DMCA Takedown?

If you’re an online content creator, this might sound a bit too familiar. The online space is now almost a lawless no man’s land due to the ease with which people can copy and share content. Influencers, content owners, online content creators, streamers, and the like constantly have their copyrighted ideas💡 and products pilfered. This happens when pirates🏴‍☠️ duplicate or alter their content and place it on another website🌐.

What can you do about this? The affected party can resort to sending a DMCA takedown notice”📩 demanding that the perpetrator remove the stolen content from the site. Let’s get into what that means and how you can use it to protect your copyright owner rights.

What Is a DMCA Takedown Notice?

DCMA stands for “Digital Millennium Copyright Act.” It is a copyright law that was passed in 1998 and became incorporated and active in October 2000. This law, in essence, was created to uphold intellectual property rights.

A DMCA Takedown Notice is a tool🔧 for influencers, content creators, and copyright owners to crack down on user-uploaded materials that infringe their copyright protection of any website🌐. It involves the content owner or content provider sending a takedown notice to online service providers. This can include web operators (eBay), internet service providers (Comcast), search engines (Google), web hosts (GoDaddy), company hosts, social media platform(s), and many others.

Sending a DMCA takedown notice signifies a request for the service provider to remove certain materials from their sites or have such content disabled for infringement of copyright. This helps influencers and creative content creators get their stolen works or content removed in a very fast and efficient manner.

Sending a DMCS takedown notice naturally happens all the time. In 2019, over 4 billion URLs were requested to be removed due to copyright issues and copyright complaints. This implies that influencers do not need to be worried about their original content being pirated🏴‍☠️ anymore. DMCA places them on a safe pedestal protecting🦺 both their rights and their works.

What Kinds of Content Can Be Protected?

Digital content protected by the DMCA include the following:

  1. Text – Blog Post, DOC, RTF, DOCx, PPT, PDF, etc.
  2. Videos – AVI, RM, RealPlayer, MOV, QuickTime, MPG, etc.
  3. Music – AIF, MP3, MID, WAV, AU, MP4, WAV, etc.
  4. Images – PNG, JPEG, JPG, SVG, RAW, BMP, TIFF, PSD, etc.

How to Send a DMCA Takedown Notice

Sending a DMCA takedown notice is not only free 🆓 but also easy and fast. Isn’t that exciting?🤩 However, the takedown notice must be complete and fully optimized to be effective. Below are some simple steps to follow when sending a DMCA takedown notice:

Take Screenshots of the Site

Once you send a DMCA notice, the web host has to remove the content from their site. Therefore, you have to take electronic (screenshots📄) and physical (printed🖨️) copies of the infringing material beforehand. 

Determine the Website’s Host

You can’t sue website hosts for infringement if they satisfy two criteria. First, a user must have uploaded the digital content, not the host. Second, the host must take immediate action to remove the material after receiving the notice. Therefore, you have to send the to the host of the website rather than the just the user. 

Determine the Copyright Agent

After determining the infringing website’s host, the next step is to determine who to forward the notice to. Most times, this is dubbed a copyright agent🛃. You can find the Copyright Agent by Googling the web host’s address🌐 and clicking on “Legal” or “Terms of Use.” Most times, this is at the base of the site. Afterward, select any of the following options: “Copyright,” “Notice for Claims of Copyright Violations,” or “Agent of Notice.”

Draft Your Takedown Notice

Next, draft the letter to send to the host. Make sure the takedown notice contains various vital elements and detailed explanation of the online copyright infringement. This is very important! To be legally viable, your takedown notice must contain:

  • A physical or electronic signature
  • Identification of the copyrighted material in question
  • The location and identification of the allegedly pilfered material (could be URLs)
  • Contact details, phone number📞, physical address, mailing address📭, email address📧, etc. of the notifier
  • A statement of good faith that the use of the material in question is a) used with out influencer or content creator permission and b) the influencer/content creator didn’t have knowledge of the usage.
  • A statement that everything listed above is accurate✅ and it is a valid claim (you’re liable under penalty of perjury).

We cover all those requirements and more in our takedown notice template.

What to Do After Sending the Notice

After sending the official notification of the takedown request📌, all the copyright owner needs to do is wait. Generally, a takedown request takes around 24 to 72 hours⏳; they are always really quick. However, a takedown process can drag on for close to six months based on the speed and location of the company processing the takedown.

However, it is possible that the web host or infringer won’t comply with the notice. If this happens, the online service provider could lose its safe harbor protection under safe harbor provisions. They could also be subject to a copyright infringement suit unless, of course, they send you their own counter-notice. 

Access Legal Assistance for your DMCA Takedown Notice

Only 2 kinds of people have the right to send a DMCA notice: the copyright holder or an authorized agent of the copyright holder. If that’s you and you need to create an optimized takedown notice so you can take legal action on a claim of copyright infringement, you might want some help! An authorized agent, in this case, a legal practitioner, can help protect your rights and content. Further, they can ensure that you meet all legal requirements of a DMCA takedown ⚖️. 

With our Digital Millennium Copyright Act Takedown Template, we are ready to provide any form of legal assistance you need. Contact us now to get compensation for your stolen work!