what to do when you receive a dmca takedown notice, steps to take when you receive a dmca takedown notice.

There are two potential parties that could receive DMCA Takedown Notices with regards to the internet:

  1. ISP/OSP operators. The DMCA and "Safe Harbor" portion of the Copyright Act were specifically written for ISP's, OSP's and Web Hosting companies. And as such any DMCA Takedown Notice must be sent to a the appropriate "abuse@" or "DMCA@" contact for the operator.
  2. Infringing website owner or contact. This person would be the listed contact for the domain which is being accused of hosting copyrighted / "stolen" content.

If you are the appropriate contact, be sure and look to identify the specific copyright infringement. Once confirmed then proceed with the takedown. If you are not the appropriate contact then return the takedown or forward to the appropriate contact.

Three key points to highlight regarding takedown requests

  1. Applying to high a level of interpretation on the request puts the ISP/OSP in direct conflict with their position and the Act which governs the takedown process. The person who requests a takedown formally swears it, that is their legally binding declaration of ownership. If they do not own the content they are guilty of perjury and can prosecuted for it. ISP's / OSP's / Web Hosts do not have the right or responsibility to arbitrate the takedown process between parties or determine whether the takedown is valid or not. They most certainly can bring judgement as to whether the Takedown request or application is suitable, appropriate or meets the criteria set out on their website.
  2. Although the takedown request has an immediacy which can be misused ultimately (according to the Act) the onus is on the party requesting the takedown to proceed to the next level legally by making application in a court of law. If the content is not theirs and the takedown is frivolous the maximum length of time a site could be down would be 14 days.
  3. A counter claim cannot be used as defense of a Takedown. In other words you cannot use a counter claim to keep content / website up. The content or website must be taken down before the counter claim can be launched.

DMCA.com provides takedown and counter claim assistance. Our DMCA.com Compliant program also provides excellent support for any organization that receives more than 5 takedowns per month.



DMCA Takedown Fast Tip

A counterclaim cannot be used to defend against or as a defense to a Takedown Notice. A counterclaim cannot be used to delay the process of a Takedown Notice.


Why would I get a DMCA Takedown Notice - what is it?

A DMCA Takedown is when content is removed from a website or internet platform at the request of the original owner of the content. The DMCA Takedown is a well established and accepted internet standard followed by website owners and internet service providers everywhere.

Any owner of content has the right to process a takedown notice against a website owner and/or an Online Service Provider (e.g. ISP, hosting company etc.) if the content owner's property is found online without their permission.

If your content has been stolen, we can help! Click here to Start Your Takedown


What should I look for in the DMCA Notice?

Three basic pieces of information are needed to file a Counter claim

1. Infringing URL(s) / Stolen Content Link(s)

Infringing URL

What content are they asking for removal? Which webpage or website is it on? Is there more than one infringement? Make sure to check the notice clearly states what is asked for removal.

An example link would look like: https://www.badguy_site.com/webpage/image_2

Source URL

2. Source URL(s) / Original Content Link(s)

Where are they claiming it was stolen from? Did they provide a website or webpage link to show exactly where it authorized to be published? Or, have they provided enough description to explain if it was stolen from a source not available online? Check to be sure it's clear where the claimed content was stolen from.

An example link would look like: https://share.icloud.com/photos/my_original_content

3. Description of What Happened / Description of Ownership

Description of Ownership

What is the content owner's name and how was the content stolen? How do they own the content? Did they create it, buy it, copyright it? Who is claiming ownership of the content? Who is authorized to file the DMCA Takedown? When was the content created?

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. I am the original owner of the photo the DMCA notice is false."

If you need assistance filing a counter claim against a DMCA Notice you have received we can help! Click here to submit the counter claim form.



DMCA Takedown Testimonial

It's so important to be on top of your web presence, so when I found out someone had used my personal and business name on their domain front page, I needed to find professionals that could help me get it taken down. DMCA was great to work with, they were able to successfully taken down the infringed content in a short period of time, keeping me informed every step of the way. They were very transparent about the take-down process and fee structure, giving me time to make a decision without sales pressure. I highly recommend DMCA. L.S


What kinds of websites receive DMCA Notices and Counter claims?

Infringing content is taken down from many different websites and platforms. Here some examples of where content is removed online:

  1. By the website owner upon receipt of a DMCA Takedown Notice from the, or on behalf of, the content owner, distributor, publisher etc.
  2. By the website owner, upon receipt of a DMCA Takedown Notice from the website owner's ISP / Hosting company. This would occur when ISP / Hosting company receives a notice sent by or on behalf of the content owner, distributor, publisher etc.
  3. By the by the ISP or Hosting company of the website that is publishing the infringing content. This occurs because the website owner has not voluntarily complied with a DMCA Notice and the ISP or Hosting company must comply with the Takedown notice.
  4. From a UCG (User Generated Content) Platform (like Facebook and TikTok), upon receipt of a DMCA Takedown Notice sent by or on behalf of the infringed content owner, distributor, publisher etc.
  5. When an infringing website is taken down or taken "offline" by it's ISP or Hosting company. This occurs because the website owner does not voluntarily comply with a Takedown notice as described above.


These Takedown actions occur upon receipt of a DMCA Takedown Notice which uses stipulations laid out in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. (DMCA). This Act directly addresses the takedown of (copyright) infringed content from a website which is publishing content in violation of copyright protection act or content being used without permission or not in accordance to the sworn statement of the content owner.

Simply Stated:, there are many ways content may be removed but they process starts with a Takedown Notice.

Who can use DMCA Takedowns and DMCA Counter claims?

  1. Content publishers or distributors (with permission of the content or copyright owners).
  2. Social media users and participants.
  3. Code writers and publishers.
  4. Content creators/owners.
  5. Copyright owners.
  6. NFT owners
  7. Subject contained within the content and published without permission (special considerations may be required).


Related DMCA Takedown FAQ's

  1. What is the DMCA Protected Badge DMCA.com Protection Status
  2. What is DMCA Protection
  3. What is DMCA Takedowns
  4. What is DMCA.com
  5. What is DMCA Protected Certificate
  6. What is DMCA Website Certificate
  7. What is DMCA Website Status Page and Protection Certificate


Set up DMCA Compliant Service here: Get Compliant
Modified: 06/02/2023
Category: Frequently Asked Question
By: Mr. DMCA Helper
FAQ ID:0fe721bb-ef73-4b5f-bf23-92666f1f6342
AMP Version of this content is available.AMP URL: https://www.dmca.com/faq/What-should-I-do-if-I-get-a-DMCA-Takedown-notice.amp