DMCA Notice Generator
Is your copyright being infringed online? We can help.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act - often called 'the DMCA' - is a law which helps copyright holders have their stolen content removed fast. The DMCA Act provides web hosts, search engines and other internet services "safe harbor" from copyright infringement claims. In return, these companies are required to act quickly to remove infringing material when properly notified.
Anyone can file a DMCA notice. Enter your details and we'll generate a DMCA notice for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your questions about the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and DMCA takedowns answered. answered.
What is the DMCA?
The Digital Millenium Copyright Act is a US law intended to protect the rights of copyright holders whose work is being infringed online.
What a 'DMCA takedown notice' (AKA a DMCA request)?
A DMCA takedown notice is a notification to a company, usually a web host or a search engine, that they are either hosting or linking to copyright-infringing material.
It provides them notice to remove the copyrighted works. Web hosts are required to remove or disable access to the material, while search engines have to stop linking to it.
Can I issue a DMCA takedown myself?
Yes, you can. However, DMCA has strict requirements that must be met for the notice to be valid, such as making sure the notice is sent to the correct party to be actioned.
This usually means the hosts' abuse department. Most big hosts will explain on their contact page where to route abuse enquiries.
Can somebody do my DMCA for me?
Yes, you can hire a DMCA agent. We suggest you use DMCA.com to handle your DMCA request for you.
How long does the process take after my DMCA report?
It depends on how responsive the host in question is. Search engines, especially Google, can take up to 10 working days to respond to DMCA complaints, but many web hosts respond within 24 hours.
What copyrighted material can be removed with a DMCA notice?
All types of copyrighted content can be removed, including:
- Text (including Word. Doc documents, plain text etc)
- Video (including MPG, AVI, RM, MOV, Quicktime, Windows Media Player, RealPlayer)
- Music & audio (including MP3, MP4, MIDI, WMA, WAV)
- Images, pictures & photos (Including JPG / JPEG, GIF, PNG, PSD & more)
- MySpace / FaceBook pictures
Provided the content can be copyrighted and that copyright is infringed online, it can be removed using a DMCA request.
Can I remove content from filesharing sites?
Most file sharing websites do respect DMCA notices and takedown procedure, even if they are not hosted in the US. This includes Rapidshare.
I'm not based in the US. Can I still use a DMCA notice?
Absolutely. What's important is where the server is located, rather than where you are based. So long as the server is in a country that has a notice and takedown system, including the United States and any EU country, you can file a DMCA notice.
When does a DMCA notice not help?
Sadly, there are some cases where the DMCA can not help. The most common are:
- - Copyright is not being infringed
- - The site infringing your copyright is not hosted in a notice and takedown country
In the second case, you can filea DMCA takedown with search engines instead.
If your question is not answered here, simply contact us and we will add it to this FAQ.
Help! I Got a DMCA Notice! Now What?
It would be bad enough to wake up one morning and discover someone had stolen some of your online content and published it on their own site without your permission. But what if you were the one doing the stealing? Or at least, being accused of stealing? What then?
If you ever receive a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Notice, dealing with it promptly and calmly is the only way to keep the situation from getting worse.
What is a DMCA Notice?
The DMCA was signed into law in 1998 as an addendum to United States copyright law, specifically to protect online content copyright. A DMCA notice can be issued by anyone who believes their content has been stolen, and their copyright violated.
So what do you do if you receive one?
Yes, a DMCA notice is essentially an accusation of theft, but no one is going to show up at your door with handcuffs, so just take a deep breath and remain calm. Then ask yourself a question:
Did you steal someone’s content?
If the answer is yes, comply with the DMCA notice immediately, and then take it as a lesson you should have already known—stealing is wrong, and you shouldn’t do it.
With the way the Internet works, and with as many tools as are available for people to monitor their content and be alerted if it appears anywhere but on their own site, stealing content is just a DMCA notice waiting to happen. You will eventually get caught. So just do everyone, especially yourself, a favor and create your own content.
Remove the Content
Now let’s give the benefit of the doubt, and assume that you didn’t mean to steal someone else’s content. Maybe you didn’t know it was copyrighted, or you didn’t understand how copyright works. Maybe you mistakenly thought the content was available for republication and sharing. Maybe someone gave you permission to republish, but you didn’t realize the person who gave you that permission wasn’t actually the original creator of that content, and permission wasn’t theirs to give.
Or maybe, just maybe, someone is pulling a fast one and claiming ownership to content that isn’t really theirs. If a few years spent on the Internet has taught you anything, it should be to take everything you see there with a grain of salt until you can confirm its veracity through authoritative means.
Even if it was an accident, that won’t matter until the situation can be resolved, and until that happens, you need to remove the content. Immediately.
Yes, even if you believe you didn’t steal it, you must remove it. Until you can confirm ownership and get the situation settled, removing the content in question will protect you from any further action from either the person claiming to own the content, or from your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
If you receive a DMCA notice, and you really don’t believe you stole content, try to confirm ownership of the content in question.
It’s highly likely that anyone who issues a DMCA notice to you will also issue that notice to your ISP. Upon receiving that notice, your ISP is required by law to notify you that they’ve received it, and to provide you with a copy of it. The notice should contain some important information:
- contact information for the complainant
- information about the works in question
- information about the original works
If you find the information about the original content is accurate, and it really was published elsewhere before you put it on your site, you’ve already removed the content so all that’s left is to notify your ISP that it has been removed to avoid having your service suspended.
Some ISPs may go so far as to suspend service upon receipt of a DMCA notice, and before they provide you with a copy of it. If this happens, the same procedure applies—remove the content, and then notify the ISP of its removal in order to have your service reinstated.
Contact the Complainant
If the DMCA notice is wrong—and it does happen from time to time—and you either posted the content without realizing it was copyrighted, or the content really is yours, you can try contacting the complainant and explaining the situation. It may truly just be a misunderstanding, and the complainant has the ability to retract the DMCA notice.
Issue a Counter-Notice
However, if the complainant responds badly, or if it seems it won’t be possible to work things out reasonably, you have the ability to file a counter-notice. In order to be valid, the counter-notice must:
- be written.
- contain your signature.
- identify the content you removed, and where it appeared before removal.
- contain a statement of good faith, made under penatly of perjury, that you believe the content in question was published and/or removed as the result of an error or misunderstanding.
- contain your contact information, including your name, address, phone number.
- include a statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for your judicial district.
Upon receiving your counter-notice, the complainant then has two options—retract their notice, or file a copyright lawsuit. Hope for the first option, but be prepared for the second. The possibility of a lawsuit is all the more reason to make sure you have all your ducks in a row before you file a counter-notice. Try to confirm content ownership on your own first. Issuing a counter-notice out of anger or spite may just lead you to even more trouble, not to mention legal fees.
Get Legal Help
If the situation is particularly sticky, though, or you just don’t feel comfortable tackling it yourself, you may want to consider contacting a copyright lawyer and letting them handle it for you.
It shouldn’t bear repeating, but it does—don’t steal content. Write your own. If you can’t or don’t want to write your own, hire a copywriter. If you can’t or don’t want to hire a copywriter, then consider another line of work because stealing other people’s content for your website is not a sustainable business model. And did we mention it’s just wrong?
But if you’re innocent and you receive a DMCA notice, just know that you have recourse, and that while it may be uncomfortable or frustrating to get it all sorted out, you eventually will, and then can go back to the business of creating original, quality content, and helping to make the Internet a better, more informative—and more honest—place.