DMCA Compliance

Copyright Services

DMCA Compliance

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was established as a solution for websites, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, that host content uploaded by third parties. The DMCA protect these websites from liability in the event content uploaded to the site infringes a third-party copyright.

While the DMCA addresses copyright issues, the “safe harbor” provision is one of its most important aspect. Online service providers that provide electronic storage, search engines, directories, and other information benefit from safe harbor protections. However, if you are seeking to benefit from DMCA protections, you and/or your company must comply with certain provisions, some of which are addressed below.

5 Ways you or your company can stay in compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

Submit a new online service provider agent designation

We will act as your designated copyright agent. We will then be contacted if a third party requests removal of infringing information from your website.

Establish notice and takedown procedures

Keep in mind, once we, as your service provider, have been made aware of infringing content on your website, the DMCA requires the content be expeditiously removed. Therefore, we will help you establish takedown procedures and draft your takedown policy for removing infringing content from your site. Such procedures will help shield Service providers from monetary liability when infringing content is promptly blocked or removed from their sites.

We will also advise on terminating accounts of repeat infringers. Repeat infringer policies are key for service providers because of DMCA Section 512(b), which requires that providers immediately take down infringing content.  If a party sends multiple takedown notices to a provider to no avail, that party can bring a claim against the service provider for its failure to expeditiously remove and/or block the infringing content.

Avoid using another’s copyrighted materials on your website

For Companies with interactive websites, such as those with message boards, blogs, and comment sections, regular monitoring of posts is crucial. We will review content uploaded by third parties, including both text and photographs, to check for copyright infringement. Failure to monitor and take-action against infringing content can expose a company to liability.

Use links for referencing online material located on another site

Rather than directly posting content on your site, consider referring to or providing a link to content that is located elsewhere. By providing a link to the original content instead of reposting that content, you can help avoid monetary damages.

To benefit from Section 512(d), the DMCA requires that the content provider:

  1. not have actual knowledge that the linked material is infringing;
  2. not gain financial benefit from the infringing content if the content provider has the right and ability to control that content; and
  3. expeditiously remove or block access to allegedly infringing content upon receiving notice of the infringing content

Monitor the web for infringing content and file takedown notices where appropriate

When encountering content that infringes your company’s copyrights, one response is to send a notice to the service provider to request a takedown of the content. The following are required in a takedown notice:

  1. the electronic or physical signature of the copyright owner;
  2. identification of the copyrighted work;
  3. a description of and link to the infringing content;
  4. the owner’s name and contact information; and
  5. a sworn statement that he/she is the owner, and did not provide permission for the content to be uploaded to the site.

Section 512(g) permits a subscriber to file a counter-notification with the service provider after receiving a takedown notice. A counter-notification is an opportunity to respond to and contest the filing of a notice and takedown after content has been removed. If successful, a counter-notification can result in the content being restored to the site.

The following are required when submitting a counter-notification:

  1. the name, address, telephone number, and signature (physical or electronic) of the subscriber;
  2. identification and location of the removed or disabled content prior to it being removed or disabled;
  3. a statement under penalty of perjury that the subscriber has a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled because of a mistake or misidentification; and
  4. a statement that the subscriber consents to the local federal court and that the subscriber will accept service of process from the complaining party.
We are here to help. Please contact us to help you avoid copyright infringement liability.

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