Steps to Take Down Copyright Infringing Content using DMCA Notice
If you've found someone using your copyrighted material without permission, the first step is to file a DMCA notice. This is an effective way to get the stolen content removed. The notice must typically include three main pieces of information; the infringing URL you want removed, the source URL where the content was stolen from, and a description of how you own the content and how it was stolen from you. Check the infringing website for FAQs or the footer of the site for DMCA instructions for more information on their takedown process.
DMCA.com provides two methods for you to file a DMCA Takedown form:
- DMCA.com's Full-Service Takedowns - We do all the work; all you need to do is fill out our simple Takedown form. This takes less than 3 minutes.
- DMCA.com's (DIY) Do it Yourself Takedown Service - Ideal for webmasters and internet professionals. We provide a complete toolkit for you to research, create and process Takedown notices.
Both takedown service options above allow for the creation of notices using the stipulations laid out in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. However, DMCA.com does provide other takedown formats according to the country (legal jurisdiction) of notice recipient(s).
Click here to start your takedown: Full Service DMCA Takedown
Once you've submitted your DMCA notice, the website owner or ISP will typically have a certain amount of time to remove the infringing content. If they don't comply, you may need to pursue legal action.
DMCA.com Fast Tip
Processing takedowns can also help any legal action you have started or will start later.
What is a DMCA Takedown Notice?
A DMCA Takedown Notice is a type of legal document which lays out how two parties can handle the theft and subsequent online publication of copyrighted content or copyright infringement. A DMCA Takedown Notice gets its name from a section of the US Copyright Act called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA specifically addresses copyright violation and enforcement over the internet.
This legal document is generally delivered to website owners, ISP's/ OSP's, Hosting Companies, UCG platforms or individuals illegally (re)publishing content without the permission of the (copyrighted) content owner. The document stipulates the content that has been stolen and republished without permission with a request for removal. It must be created and submitted in a specific manner so as to comply with the law. Failure to do so means the "notice" to remove the content will not be followed by any party involved in the infringement.
In exchange for the immediate removal of the content the publisher receives safe harbor from litigation regarding the illegal publication of copyrighted content.
What information is needed in the DMCA Takedown Notice?
Three main pieces of information are needed to get started filing a DMCA Takedown Notice:
1. Infringing URL
Where on the internet is your stolen content located? What is the link that you want the content removed from? Be sure to provide the URL or website/webpage link of the content you want removed. If the stolen content is an image or video located on a website provide the direct link of the content contained in the site. Copy and paste the infringing text, or provide the URL of the infringing image if required.
An example link would look like: https://www.badguy_site.com/webpage/image_2
2. Source URL
Where was your content located when it was stolen? Was it on your social media profile? Was it from your own website? Provide the exact URL where it was stolen from, even if the content has already been removed from its original location. The original URL is still valuable to the notice. If it was not online you can reference cell phone, computer, or camera etc. If it was online such as a website or cloud storage provide the link to the exact page it was stolen from. You can upload the original content to a cloud storage service and provide that URL with an explanation of where it was originally stolen from.
An example link would look like: https://share.icloud.com/photos/my_original_content
3. Description of Ownership
What is the content owner's name and how was the content stolen? How is this content yours? How do you own it? Did you create it, buy it, copyright it? Who is claiming ownership of the content? Who is authorized to file the DMCA Takedown? When did you create the content and when was the content stolen?
An example description would sound like: "My photo I took of myself on my camera was stolen from my Google Drive and was posted on this website without my knowledge and I would like it removed."
If you are unsure how to collect the information for these three categories the Professional Takedown Team at DMCA.com can help with the answers. Click here to ask us about your situation.
Who can file a DMCA Takedown Notice?
- content creators/owners
- copyright owners
- content publishers or distributors (with permission of the content or copyright owners)
- NFT owners
- code writers and publishers
- social media users and participants
- subject contained within the content and published without permission (special considerations may be required)
If the list above does not appear to describe your situation by all means ask. Click here to Ask us about your situation
DMCA.com Fast Tip
Do not provide personal and confidential information like passport copies, driver's license numbers, personal addresses etc. through online takedown notice forms on websites hosting your stolen content and on which you are unfamiliar.
Can I still file a DMCA Takedown Notice if I do not live in the USA?
Most countries accept the standard DMCA Takedown Notice form and process. Although the DMCA Takedown is part of US Copyright law, a DMCA Takedown Notice is often used and accepted throughout the world and not exclusive to the United States. However, many countries have their own copyright laws specifically related to the removal of content from internet service providers and site owners within their borders. What service providers where do and do not accept the standard DMCA takedown notice form and process is dynamic and constantly changing. DMCA.com's Takedown Professionals are aware of these changes and are able to convert the information submitted through the standard DMCA Takedown signup form to suit specific countries and/or service providers within the legal process they require.
Does a website need to use the DMCA Takedown Notice process in order to get my content removed?
If a website does not clearly state they follow DMCA you can still process a DMCA Takedown Notice to remove your stolen content. There can be many reasons a website does not reference the DMCA directly.
I am so glad I found the internet experts at DMCA(.com) to assist with a takedown. Having never dealt with this kind of issue before, I was pleased to find that they worked with us every step of the way. The service and guidance they provide is absolutely worth the cost. They handled everything. I highly recommend starting with them if you are faced with a takedown. - TR
I am very happy I found DMCA.com ! Their service is GREAT ! I was at my wits end with one person in particular stealing images off my website and putting them on his for SALE ! Then he even started making copies of my designs and popping up on free websites all over the Internet. Thru their "Take Down " service, my case manager, managed to get his one of ISP's to remove my images from his web site QUICKLY and are working on his other site! Thank you DMCA.com. I highly recommend their services to anyone having copyright infringement problems. -Susan Harrison
How can I know if a website accepts a DMCA Takedown Notice?
If a website uses the DMCA they will usually place a reference in the footer of the website. The clickthrough should clearly state the conditions of the DMCA Takedown Notice process. Many websites reference the DMCA.com Takedown Notice form on this website directly. If you are unsure or the website unclear, click here to complete your takedown request: DMCA Takedown Notice Form. Our professional team will connect your takedown request to the right website.
What information does a website need to process a takedown notice from me?
If a website accepts DMCA Takedown Notices they will clarify what they require in order to process a takedown notice through their website. (See below for DMCA.com option) Generally the list will include some or all of these questions:
- An electronic or physical signature of the owner or of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright interest;
- Identification of the copyrighted work (or works) that you are claiming has been infringed;
- A description of the material that you claim is infringed, and the location where the original or an authorized copy of the copyrighted work exists (for example, the URL of the page of the web site where it is lawfully posted; the name, edition and pages of a book from which an excerpt was copied, etc.);
- A clear description of where the infringing material is located on the website including as applicable its URL so the claimed infringed material can be located;
- Your name
- Your address
- Your telephone number
- Your e-mail address;
- A statement that you have a good-faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
- A statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf.
DO NOT provide personal and confidential information like passport copies, driver's license numbers, personal addresses etc. through online takedown notice forms on websites hosting your stolen content and on which you are unfamiliar.
Note: DMCA.com offers a simple way to add a standard DMCA Takedown Notice system to your website. It is called the DMCA.com Compliance program - Get Compliant - simply add a compliance badge to your website and no more guess work on how to process a DMCA Takedown notice from your site.
Related DMCA Takedown FAQ's
- What is DMCA Takedowns
- What is DMCA.com
- What is DMCA Protection