The Digital Millennium Copyright Act [DMCA] is a U.S. law that amended parts of the Copyright Act of 1976. One of the most important and The Section 512 of the Copyright Act is a federal law that allows online service providers to avoid liability for copyright infringement based on their users' actions. The DMCA creates a safe harbor for online service providers [OSP] to avoid liability for infringing works posted by their users. Depending on what type of activity the OSP engages in, there are different requirements for qualifying for the DMCA safe harbor.The Digital Media Law Project offers a high-level overview of the DMCA safe harbor requirements for different OSP.
In order to qualify for the safe harbor provisions, the OSP must comply with properly-written DMCA takedown notices.
For a DMCA takedown notice to be effective, it must be:
The body of a DMCA Takedown Letter can easily be separated into the following six or seven distinct sections — six or seven, because the first two are easily, and typically, combined:
Finally, the letter needs to be signed with a physical or electronic signature of the copyright owner or someone authorized to act on behalf of the owner.
The Copyright Alliance provides a little more detail on the above requirements. For a DMCA takedown notice to be effective, it must substantially meet the above requirements.
Upon receiving an adequate takedown notice, the OSP should take steps to promptly remove the allegedly infringing materials and notify the complaining party that the materials have been removed pursuant to a DMCA takedown notice.
If the affected user disagrees that the material is infringing, that user will have an opportunity to respond with a counter-notice.
[LETTERHEAD INCLUDING CONTACT INFORMATION]
1. We write this letter [as the owner / on behalf of [COPYRIGHT OWNER]] (the "Copyright Owner") and provide notice of copyright infringement under Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the "DMCA").[ We are authorized to act on behalf of the Copyright Owner.]
2. The Copyright Owner owns copyrights in the works listed below (the "Works"):
[NAME OF WORKS, INCLUDING ANY REGISTRATION NUMBERS]
3. Your service provides access to materials that infringe upon the Works. The following is a list of the infringing materials and the URLs where those materials may be found:
[DETAILS OF INFRINGING MATERIALS ALONG WITH URLs]
4. We have a good faith belief that the use of the Works in the manner described in this letter is unauthorized by the Copyright Owner or any agent of the Copyright Owner or any applicable law.
5. We swear that the information contained in this notification is accurate and we swear under penalty of perjury that we are[ authorized to act on behalf of] the Copyright Owner.
6. We request that you remove access to the infringing materials as set forth in the DMCA. Please contact us no later than one week from the date of this letter to confirm that the infringing materials have been removed.
[SIGNATURE AND FULL CONTACT INFORMATION, INCLUDING MAILING ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER, AND EMAIL ADDRESS]
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