DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which was enforced with a view to protect the right of both the company owners and consumers. A DMCA notice is sent to inform company, web host, search engine or internet service providers if /when they host or link to materials that infringe on copyright. Whoever receives a DMCA notice must take down the material immediately. In case the site owner does not comply, there is a chance that the ISP will remove the content by force. A DMCA notice can be sent out not only for the infringe materials but also for any indices or references that point out the infringe content. This DMCA notice covers any copyright materials such as written words, videos, audio file, and music, still artworks including photos and images, pictures posted on social media and even software.
History Of DMCA
DMCA is a controversial United States digital right management law which was approved by congress in 1998 and Bill Clinton signed it into a law as the contemporary president. To deal with the special challenges of regulating digital material DMCA was created as an updated version of copyright law. Besides the copyright owners, DMCA service also protects Internet Service Providers (ISP). It is considered as a crime to manufacture, sell or distribute code cracking device or copy software under DMCA. But there is an exemption from anti-circumvention provisions for non-profit libraries, archives, and educational institutions under certain conditions.
How To Handle DMCA Notices
When you host multiple websites, it is not always possible for you to watch all the contents people are sharing there and check if there any copyright infringements attached to that. Sometimes people just post content without having a proper understanding of how copyright works. So, there is nothing to be surprised if you receive a DMCA notice without stealing the content intentionally. In this case, it is very important for you to know the best ways of handling DMCA notices. For the sake of your content and website, you can follow these tips mentioned below if you get a DMCA notice ever—
1. Do Not Get Panicked
The first thing you need to do when you get a DMCA notice is to stay calm. Though you are being accused of stealing but do not panic and ask yourself if you have stolen someone else’s content by chance. If the answer is ‘yes’, complying with the DMCA notice without wasting any time. There is no point in stealing someone else’s content as different tools are used by people to monitor their content and be alerted in case of theft. So, get a lesson that stealing is wrong and pay attention to create new content.
2. Takedown The Content
There are several reasons why you may get a DMCA notice though you did not intend to steal someone else’s content. Maybe you were not aware of how copyright works or you did not know it was copyrighted. Sometimes someone gives you permission to republish the contents but you do not get to realize that he is not the original creator. It is also very common that someone is pulling at first and claiming false ownership of the content. Whatever the situation is you must remove the content immediately. Until you get the situation settled removing the disputed content will protect you from any further action from your ISP.
3. Do Confirmation Of Your Ownership
If you get a DMCA notice initially it will be hard to believe that you have stolen content. But first, try to confirm your ownership of the content in question. Anyone who issues a DMCA notice to you is likely to send the same notice to your ISP. If you find out accurate information about the original content let your ISP know that you have already removed the content. Some ISP can suspend services after receiving the notice. In this case, you need to follow the same procedure—remove the content and notify your ISP of the removal so that they do not restrict your service.
4. Talk To The Complainant
In case you have received a wrong DMCA notice you can contact the complainant. Sometime you may post the content without knowing that it is copyrighted or maybe the content is truly yours, you can talk to the complainant and try to explain the situation. If there is any misunderstanding regarding the copyright issues the complainant is able to withdraw the DMCA notice.
5. File A Counter Notice
If talking with the complainant does not work effectively, you can issue a counter notice. This counter notice must be written with your signature, identify the content you removed, contain a good statement of faith along with your information details. It must contain your consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for your judicial district. After receiving the counter notice the complainant can either retract their notice or file a copyright lawsuit. Try to confirm your own ownership first and if it doesn’t work then go for the counter-notice.
6. Take Legal Help
If you think that you cannot handle it yourself it is better to contact a copyright lawyer. He will handle it for you. Always try to write your own content without stealing from anyone. In case you are innocent and receive a DMCA notice there are ways to get out of it. Though it is irritating and uncomfortable ultimately you can go back to your business by creating original content of your own.
It is not so easy to deal with copyright infringement. Though you do not intend to steal someone else’s content there are several reasons that you can receive a DMCA notice. So always try to be careful about what you are posting and never ever steal content from others. In case you have received such DMCA notice, make sure of the removal and your ownership of the content and follow the appropriate process in order to avoid the suspension of your service.