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How Do I File a DMCA Takedown Notice to Protect My Creation?

If you believe your work is being posted on a website without your permission, you have a unique tool to enforce your rights: the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

DMCA Notification

The DMCA allows copyright holders to send “takedown” notices to web hosts (like WordPress, YouTube or Flickr) to let them know that content their users have posted infringes on a copyright. Most major content hosts will have a DMCA or other copyright policy posted with their terms of service and a contact person or email.

To file a DMCA takedown notice, you’ll want to locate and follow the specific process for the company to which you are complaining. In general, the process is something like this:

  1. Send notice to the host, in writing, with a description of your content, the infringing content, and your contact information. This notice should also include a sworn statement that you believe the content is an infringement and that you are the copyright owner.
  2. After receiving your notice, the host should take the content down.
  3. The host will also forward your notice, including your contact information, to the infringer.
  4. The alleged infringer may then send a counter-notification. If the infringer does send a counter-notice, they have to consent to their local Federal District Court’s jurisdiction, and provide their contact information to the host.
  5. The host will then forward the infringer’s contact information to you, so that you can file suit against the infringer in court. The host can also then repost the content pending the outcome of the litigation.

Be careful when filing a DMCA takedown. If you file a DMCA notice without a good faith belief that the content is infringing, the alleged infringer can sue you for doing so.

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