What is the DMCA?

DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act and first came into effect in October 1998. 

With the explosion of the digital world (AKA, the internet), publishing work online exposes those who do so to the risk of copyright infringement. The act provides artists with protection for their work.

What is DMCA: The basics

·      What does DMCA protect?

·      Where does DMCA apply?

·      DMCA safe harbor

·      DMCA takedown notice

What does DMCA protect?

DMCA protects the rights of artists, photographers, authors, and writers regarding their digitally published works. It not only covers copyright infringement but also reinforces penalties for offenders who share or copy works without permission.

Where does DMCA apply?

DMCA is part of US copyright law and applicable to websites that are hosted within the country. This means that even if a copyright owner is not US-based they can utilize the law if the hosting website is in the USA.

In reality, although DMCA doesn’t apply in other countries (who have to comply with their individual copyright laws), many businesses and hosting providers will take note of a DMCA notice to prevent any future resulting legalities.

DMCA safe harbor

Safe harbor shields online service providers (OSP) from copyright infringement in certain cases. These cover four distinct categories:

1.     Temporarily storing for transmission (system caching)

2.     Temporary digital network communication

3.     Information location tools

4.     Storing information on a system or network at the user’s discretion

DMCA takedown notice

A takedown notice is an official notification to a web host, search engine, website, company, or ISP that informs they are in breach of DMCA by linking to content that infringes on a copyright. On receipt of the notice, they’re obliged to remove the content immediately.

If this isn’t done then the ISP can forcibly remove it.

Examples of when a DMCA Takedown Notice can be Applied

·      Type of copyrighted material that’s covered

·      Registration necessities

Type of copyrighted material that’s covered

Any work of art that’s published online is covered by DMCA. The following are relevant examples:

–       Videos

–       Music, songs, and audio files

–       Digital software

–       Written text, such as blogs, articles, works of fiction, poetry, etc.

–       Your images shared to your business’s website and/or official social media site

Registration necessities

It isn’t necessary to have officially registered ownership of your work before issuing a DMCA takedown request. This is because from the moment your work is in a tangible form (in print, recorded, captured in an image, etc.) then you hold the copyright.

However… If the person who issues the DMCA takedown notice subsequently receives a counter-notification that disputes the infringement then the next step is to file a lawsuit. This has to be done within 14 days.

Unless you intend to file a lawsuit and claim for monetary damages there’s no need to officially register the copyright of your work.

How to Send a DMCA Takedown Notice

·      The DIY option

·      Using specialist services

The DIY option

Anyone who discovers unauthorized use of their work is entitled to send a takedown notice. The first step is to contact the website owner to take down the material. If this is ignored then it’ll be necessary to send a signed DMCA request to their hosting provider who, providing the request is upheld, will take down the material.

Information in the takedown notice should include:

–       All details, including the URL of the website and the material in question

–       The URL and details of the original content

–       A statement that you have good faith in the belief that your copyright has been infringed

–       A statement under penalty of perjury that all the information stated is accurate

–       Your contact information and a physical or electronic signature

Using specialist services

Depending on the level of infringement, some people choose to use a specialist to deal with such copyright infringement, especially if or when the initial takedown notice fails to have the desired effect.

Copyright lawyers who specialize in entertainment law should be your preferred choice if this is to be your plan of action.

Contact Chase Lawyers for All Your Entertainment Law Requirements

Chase Lawyers are the premier provider of all aspects of entertainment and sports-related legal services. With offices in Miami and NYC, they represent institutional and individual clients on a nationwide and international basis.

Whether you require advice regarding the finer details of what is DMCA and related aspects, or any other area of their expertise, visit https://entertainmentlawyermiami.com to find out more and schedule a no-obligation, confidential chat.