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How To File A DMCA Takedown Notice

DMAC Takedown Notice Template

Is a DMCA takedown notice always the way to go? One of the most common questions I’m asked has to do with what to do when someone takes content, whether written, images, audio or video. Copyright infringement in the online, digital, and mobile spaces is getting easier and more prolific by the day. As new social platforms pop up, a new medium for “stolen” content is born.

When people find their copyrighted work posted somewhere they didn’t authorize, it’s very personal. Most people want to “do a DMCA”. While that’s definitely one option it’s not always the way to go.

First, let’s define what a DMCA is. DMCA is actually short for Digital Millennium Copyright Act and it is a group of laws that protect copyrighted content on digital mediums. Signed into law in 1998, the DMCA has been the go-to source for many of the copyright infringement issues arising due to the proliferation of digital media. There are many aspects of the law, but the one most people are familiar with is the DMCA Takedown Notice.

The DMCA Takedown Notice provides a mechanism for copyright holders to request an Internet Service Provider (ISP), search engine, host or other type of site-owner/manager to remove material that is infringing their copyright. Unlike other aspects of copyright laws, the DMCA Takedown process does not require you to have a registered copyright. That’s very important to know, because some people may say you do. Before you send a DMCA Takedown Notice you need to establish a few things:

(1) You own the copyright or have the right to assert infringement of a copyright you license. If you do not own the copyright or have a legal right to assert a claim of copyright infringement, you’re wasting your time.

(2) The alleged infringement is not covered by an exception such as Fair Use or free speech laws. While you don’t have to know every aspect of Fair Use exceptions, you do have to have a “good faith” belief that the alleged infringing use is not covered by any law which would permit its use.

(3) The content is capable of being infringed online. That mean the work must be something in digital form. Here are some examples:

  • Text (TXT, RTF, DOC, DOCx, PDF, PPT, PAGES, etc.)
  • Images, pictures & photos (BMP, EPS, SVG, JPG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, PSD, RAW, TIFF, etc.)
  • Video (MPG, AVI, RM, MOV, Quicktime, Windows Media Player, RealPlayer)
  • Music & audio (AIF, AU, MP3, MP4, MID, WAV, etc. )
  • Images found on Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Flickr

Once you’ve determined these three things, and you are sure you want to file the DMCA Takedown Notice, there are very exacting provisions of the law you must comply with or the receiving agent may ignore your request. Here are the steps to use when filing a DMCA Takedown Notice.

1. Locate the correct person. If you find your content on another website it may not be common knowledge who their hosting company is. You can use Domain Tools to help you find the information. If you are sending a takedown notice to an ISP there is often an email or form provided on their site. You may need to hunt for it as there is no consistent location. Some put it under Copyright, others have it in their Terms and Conditions. If you can not find the DMCA agent contact on the website, search the US Copyright Office list of DMCA agents. While the information should be current, it may not be due to the organization not updating their information with the US Copyright Office.

2. If the ISP, search engine, social media platform, or website has an online form specifically for DMCA Takedown requests it is often best to use the form as your initial point of contact since it is likely going to yield a more timely response. That is not always the case, but many large provider (especially search engines) use forms to direct specific issues to different departments. For example, one large search engine has different departments that handle requests related to images and video.

3. If an online form is not provided, you will need to send your notice to the designated DMCA agent in the manner they request. Keep in mind that while you think email should be acceptable, if the DMCA agent requests notices by fax (or in some cases registered mail) you MUST submit your request how they want it. Never mind how stupid you may think it is, the DMCA agent chooses the method(s) they want to accept.

4. If you are not using an online form, your letter will need to contain some very specific information. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act sets forth the information that must be provided in a DMCA takedown notice, not the ISP, search engine, website, social media platform, or DMCA takedown agent.

Often you will need to send this same information to multiple parties, so it makes sense to put it in a letter to ensure you have all the necessary information for your request.

Your notification must:

• Be in writing (this includes both hardcopy or digital);
• Be signed (whether in writing of via electronic signature) by the copyright owner or agent;
• Identify the original copyrighted work (or works if there ar multiple) you claim has been infringed;
• Identify the material that is infringing your copyrighted work;
• Include contact information so the designated agent can reach you, if necessary;
• Include a statement your complaint is in “good faith;”
• Include a statement the information in the notification is accurate; and
• Include a statement that under penalty of perjury you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Below I provide a SAMPLE DMCA TAKEDOWN NOTICE TEMPLATE. You are free to cut/paste and use it as you see fit. You will need to gather the appropriate information specific to your request, which I have designated in red.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

SAMPLE DMCA TAKEDOWN NOTICE TEMPLATE

To Whom It May Concern,

The following information serves to assert my rights and request removal of allegedly infringing web content under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The following is a report, in good faith, of alleged copyright infringement. I am contacting you as the designated agent for the site upon which the infringing work currently appears. This letter is a Notice of Infringement as authorized in §512(c) of the U.S. Copyright Law.

I am the copyright owner of the works and the following is true and accurate.

1. The original work, for which I claim copyright, appears, with my permission, at the following locations online:

{URLs WHERE YOUR ORIGINAL AUTHORIZED WORK APPEARS}

2. Copies of my original copyrighted work are {attached/included/provided} to assist you in your evaluation and determination.

3. The allegedly infringing {work/text/image} appears at the following location(s) online:

{URLs WHERE INFRINGING WORK IS CURRENTLY LOCATED}

4. My contact information, as copyright holder, is as follows:

{INCLUDE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION}

5. The information of the alleged copyright infringer is:

{INSERT WHOIS INFORMATION FOR THE SITE YOU ALLEGE IS INFRINGING}

6. I have a good faith belief the use of the above reference copyrighted work(s) that appears on the website for which you are the designated DMCA agent is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or by law.

I declare, under penalty of perjury, this notice is true and correct and that I am the copyright owner entitled to exclusive rights which I allege are being infringed.

Signed this ________ day of ___________, 20_____ in {INSERT CITY, STATE, COUNTY}.

{YOUR SIGNATURE/eSIGNATURE}

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Filing a DMCA Takedown does not mean every instance of your copyrighted work will be removed from the internet. You will need to submit a request for all the different locations you find your work. No, that’s not awesome. But it’s how it works.

Finally, keep in mind that the alleged infringer will have access to the information provided in your takedown notice. In addition, the alleged infringer can file a counter-notice, which is basically a reply, stating why the work does not infringe your copyright. If that happens, the work will likely be reposted and you will need to pursue other measures to enforce your copyright.

UPDATE: All DMCA Takedown Notice documents must be signed under penalty of perjury. Filing a false DMCA Takedown, one that does not consider the applicability of an exception (such as parody or fair use), or one that does not relate to a copyright issues can bring with it significant legal liability, including criminal penalties. Filing a DMCA Takedown is a legal matter and should not be done without the full understanding its implications for you. 

Disclosure: While I am a lawyer, I am not offering legal advice. Posts on legal matters are for information purposes only and are not offered as legal advice. No attorney/client relationship is created.

By | 2018-08-27T12:53:59+00:00 October 4th, 2012|Blogging, Business Law, Copyright, Social Media|95 Comments

95 Comments

  1. […] How to File a DMCA Takedown Notice […]

  2. Richard A. Wright December 27, 2012 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    One thing I am confused about is what if it is a situation where you have posted commissioned art and have been denied access to the account? Over several years I have commissioned art from various artists of fictional characters and have posted them on art galleries that allow commissioned art to be posted. After a heated argument with an admin at the site I was banned, but the art is still there. I want it taken down but the site administration is ignoring me. What would be the advice there? I designed the characters and wrote them, they even have been used in a couple of published comic books. I just paid people to create images of the characters.

    • Kenny April 1, 2013 at 7:02 am - Reply

      Do a WhoIs search on the site, figure out who their hosting company is and file a DMCA with them.

      • içerik kaldırma February 8, 2017 at 11:45 pm - Reply

        This is one of the most needed topics. Thanks for informing us.

  3. […] 5.  How to file a DMCA Takedown Notice by Sara Hawkins […]

  4. 12 Most Applicable Laws for the Online Pro February 15, 2013 at 7:00 am - Reply

    […] site where the alleged infringement is happening to either take down or block access. Known as a DMCA Takedown Notice, it’s a very powerful part of what is a very complex […]

  5. Copyright Infringement: How to get content removed February 16, 2013 at 11:09 am - Reply

    […] detailed information on this topic and other blog law, please visit How To File A DMCA Takedown Notice (including templates) on Saving for Someday. The author, Sara, has written an entire series on blog […]

  6. […] Also, don’t be afraid to call a local copyright attorney if you have a case. Get screen shots of the violations before you send the DMCA takedown notice. There are numerous sites where you can find the template for this notice, this is only one such site: http://www.savingforsomeday.com/how-to-file-a-dmca-takedown-notice/ […]

  7. 5 Top Legal Issues for Authors and Self-Publishers | Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James March 20, 2013 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    […] of the benefits of online booksellers is you can avail yourself of the DMCA takedown process, which does not require that your work be registered, if you have a good faith belief your work is […]

  8. Gary McCloud April 28, 2013 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Hi Sara, thanks for sharing your knowledge and informative information, I guess the template can be used as a means to first informally contact/warn a website owner rather than go straight to the ISP and a formal complaint?

    I have a question that I’ve often wondered, but have yet to find an answer…Regarding Social Network User Names. For instance, a user sets a “username” for their Facebook, Twitter, or any other account. Following this, another individual creates a company and website which uses the same user name the other person uses for their social network account user name–thus preventing the legitimate business from using their true business name as a username… Now, can the latter (website business owner) claim a copyright infringement against the use of their business name as a user name?

    Thanks!

  9. […] Notice and possibly be fined. Here is more information about what a DMCA Takedown Notice is and how to file a DMCA Takedown Notice if you need to. Again, from my super smart friend Sara Hawkins. Why am I quoting Sara so […]

  10. James Meyer June 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Sara,

    Thanks for the article and the template. I get very frustrated when others take my work and post it without permission. Not that I would typically deny them posting, just that as the creator of the work I have the right to decide who uses my work and where it may be posted. So thanks again, this gives me something to think about and act upon.

  11. How to Protect Your Blog Content August 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    […] How to File a DMCA Takedown Notice by Sara Hawkins […]

  12. Donna Hicks August 24, 2013 at 4:06 am - Reply

    Thanks so very much for your helpful information on DMCA takedown. I may have to go further as the person who plagiarized my work by posting it on FB claimed my name was not visible, which is absolutely not true and when others warned her, even before I was even advised of the plagiarism, she told them they “have been heard,” yet did not take it down. This information gave me clear direction. I do plan to file the legal action since she blatantly disregarded the warnings, but have to get legal cost info first.

  13. DMCA TakeDown Request: Yup, we got Scammed! | CanuckSEO September 6, 2013 at 8:51 am - Reply

    […] but page 1 has more than enough info you can find out exactly what you need to do here or here or here….just fill out a standardized email request with your own particulars and send same to the […]

  14. Risky Content: The Thin Line Between Inspiration And Plagiarism | SF Gazette November 6, 2013 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    […] If you see your content has been stolen, consider filing a DMCA takedown notice. There’s a procedure under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act where you can demand that […]

  15. […] If you see your content has been stolen, consider filing a DMCA takedown notice. There’s a procedure under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act where you can demand that […]

  16. Pinterest & Copyright - Learn from My Mistake - Newlywed Survival December 11, 2013 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    […] In a situation like this, the first thing you should do is check to see if the image and/or post content is actually on that site. I headed over to check it out, and it was one of those sites that is basically up to get ad revenue. Someone was putting other people’s content up on their site with no credit to the actual authors. I was lucky, my image and content were nowhere to be found on the site. If it had been there, I would contact the site owner and ask for it to be taken down. If it wasn’t taken down, I would file a DMCA Takedown Notice. Find out how to do this. […]

  17. […] it doesn't cost anything … here are a few resources. Filing a DMCA Complaint to Google Gets Easy How To File A DMCA Takedown Notice How to File a Digital Millennium Copyright Act Complaint but the list goes on and on. File the DMCA […]

  18. 12 Most Common Things To Know About Creative Commons March 3, 2014 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    […] and go with the concept of intent within the definition, but a licensor has the right to issue a DMCA Takedown Notice if there is a good faith belief the license is being […]

  19. Buyer Beware -avoid USDA Breeders March 4, 2014 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    […] infringement: Digital Photography Review How to Send a DMCA Takedown Notice | Black Star Rising How To File A DMCA Takedown Notice Reply With […]

  20. Using Blog Post Images - Can You Afford This? | My Miss Assist March 29, 2014 at 1:41 am - Reply

    […] If you have found that one of your images, videos or files are being used without your permission or against your terms, one can always file a DMCA takedown notice. […]

  21. […] is also a very good walk-through of how to file a notice on Sara F. Hawkins’ website. It’s written by an American attorney, but the principles are the same no matter where you are […]

  22. pia May 14, 2014 at 7:57 am - Reply

    What was supposed to be the beginning of my book was put into a textbook by a major publisher. They attributed it to me but didn’t say where they took it from,–and most importantly didn’t ask for permission which I would not have given.
    Is there anything I can do?

    • Sara May 15, 2014 at 9:34 am - Reply

      Pia, you should contact a copyright attorney to determine what remedies may be available to you. Best of luck, Sara

  23. How To Protect Your Site or Blog Content From Copying?SERPS.IN May 23, 2014 at 3:04 am - Reply

    […] Here is a guide on how to file a DMCA take down request. […]

  24. zoe June 7, 2014 at 6:37 am - Reply

    I don’t know what to do, I have filled a dmca report because my art got stolen and the blogger claim falsely that it his art and the material has been removed but a few days later tumblr restored to this blogger the stolen art, what do I do?

    • Sara June 7, 2014 at 9:26 am - Reply

      Zoe, I can not offer specific advice as to what you should or should not do. The process under the DMCA allows for a reply to a DMCA Takedown Notice, called a Counter-Notice. It, too, is filed under penalty of perjury. If a counter-notice is filed, 17 U.S.C. § 512(g)(3), the work remains down for up to 14-days and may then be put back up if no further action is taken. You should speak to an attorney to determine what you should do not only to protect your work, but to determine if damages are available if the counter-notice was filed falsely or maliciously. Section 512(f) of the US Copyright Act provides that any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification may be subject to liability.

      • zoe June 9, 2014 at 12:55 pm - Reply

        thank you for the reply, the problem I face is that I am a minor so I cannot speak to an attorney so I really cannont do anything to take my art down from this person’s blog but again thank you anyway

      • zoe June 10, 2014 at 6:02 am - Reply

        Thank you for the reply , the problem I face is that I am a minor so I cannot afford an attorney to determined what to do about the false encounter notice, I guess cannot solve this but again thank you for answering

  25. john smith June 12, 2014 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    If that’s the case I dont see why reports are even useful , its just a waste of time if after a few days they can restore the work even if the claim is false.

    • Sara June 13, 2014 at 2:58 pm - Reply

      John, the reporting process is the best that we have right now. With the penalty of perjury attached to its submission, often that is sufficient to deter false filings. Unfortunately, there are many who don’t see that as a sufficient deterrent.

  26. paul July 3, 2014 at 9:00 am - Reply

    Sara: Much appreciate your article. The only question I have is in the case of the form for a novel you set out in item #2 copies of the work. Is it necessary to attach the novel text itself or would the cover copy suffice. Seems you are requesting attaching the full text of the novel. Please let me know what is the minimum to attach in this case. Thank you. Paul

    • Sara Hawkins September 8, 2014 at 11:30 am - Reply

      Paul, for a DMCA takedown on an extensive work it is often sufficient to provide a representative sample. However, much will depend on the DMCA agent and the website’s process for handling such requests.

  27. Non Paying Client SUCKS August 8, 2014 at 1:07 am - Reply

    […] you within 7 days you will enforce it by instigating a DMCA takedown notice. For more info see http://sarafhawkins.com/how-to-file-…kedown-notice/ Reply With […]

  28. Stolen Video Stills | krystole.net August 14, 2014 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    […] from. Does anyone recognize the video stills on her site? If you do, please alert the owners to file DMCA notices on Krystal Draper to her host, […]

  29. bridie83. April 20, 2015 at 12:17 am - Reply

    Hi Sarah,
    Only recently subscribed to your web page.
    Amazing amount of information. Glad I found it!!
    Bridie (web page pen name) now 88.
    Jim.

  30. Edie September 23, 2015 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Hi Sara,
    I received a take down notice (I did not know it was copyrighted) for a photo on our website (small business) So I removed the photo from our site immediately. I got another letter about 10 days later stating we owe them $700 and there was a link on the letter where to go pay it. If no payment is received within 10 days, they threaten to take legal action. We did not profit from the photo and get no business from it, so I don’t know if that is legal for them to request $700. I did a Google search for the photo and it appears on multiple websites and Pinterest, and I cannot verify who the copyright owner is. Can they force us to pay them after I removed it?

    • Sara Hawkins September 24, 2015 at 9:53 am - Reply

      This is a very common question, Edie. While the DMCA provides for a takedown process, it does not override the Copyrightholder’s (or their exclusive agent’s) right to recover damages. A search of the internet and you can find a number of sites referring to these demand letters as “extortion letters”. There are a number of issues that come into play with these letters. I have sent demand letters out on behalf of my clients, and I have clients who have been on the receiving end of these letters. The individual circumstances around the use of the image are important so there isn’t one set answer as to whether they can legally demand payment for the infringing use.

      • invintagedmiss November 22, 2015 at 5:59 pm - Reply

        I’m in a similar not, I’m new to blogging, it’s a hobby and I made the mistake of asking permission to use the image, I’ve only just found it it was the we person! I didn’t receive a DMCA though, just a straighout demand letter, which I can’t really verify. I’m in Australia so the $$ US they want is far beyond what I can give. Also the ‘verification’ they offered frankly anyone could… I took the image down straight away and they replied with a “thank you, seeing as you are trying we now only want $500 us…”. I just don’t trust that it is legitimate. I’m going to have my Australian telecommunications and fair trade ombudsman check it out, if they find it is legitimate I will be happy to pay it off, I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong and making things right, I just can’t afford to hand over money when I’m not sure if it’s legitimate etc.

  31. Anonymous January 25, 2017 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    Hi Sara,

    My husbands ex-wife still has hundreds of photos of him on social media, videos, screenshots of text messages (which show his name & number), she still has him his name and photo on her account on wedspace.com and weddingsolutions.com. They didn’t have any children together, so we don’t see a reason why she keeps these things on social media. She keeps her instagram public so a lot of it is just out for the world to see and if you google his name the wedding profiles show up. We have politely requested she remove all videos, photos, screenshots of text messages, and him from the wedding pages. She ignores our requests. To be polite we even suggested that she could save all of this to a hard-drive, we just don’t want it on social media. We spoke to a local attorney who said that for $250 she would write a letter to try scare her into taking everything down but wasn’t sure that it could in fact be enforced. We don’t want to waste $250 if nothing can be done. We are starting our own family and I hate that this is all out there for my future children to possibly see, is there anything that can be done? Thank you.

    • Sara Hawkins February 11, 2017 at 4:21 pm - Reply

      You really need to speak with an attorney who is familiar with removing unauthorized information from websites. I do not have a great deal of experience in this area, but I know there are lawyers out there who specialize in having information removed from websites. Best of luck!

  32. Identity Theft – Industrial Management February 11, 2017 at 1:43 am - Reply

    […] more information about DMCA takedown procedures and a legal perspective, check out Sarah Hawkins’s website. Her article helped me get out of my predicament and saved me a lot of […]

  33. Freelancer Identity Theft: It Happened to Me—Here's What You Should Know - Cible February 15, 2017 at 10:03 am - Reply

    […] more information about DMCA takedown procedures and a legal perspective, check out Sarah Hawkins’s website. Her article helped me get out of my predicament and saved me a lot of […]

  34. […] more information about DMCA takedown procedures and a legal perspective, check out Sarah Hawkins’s website. Her article helped me get out of my predicament and saved me a lot of […]

  35. Eric T Cat July 21, 2017 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    Jurisdiction is going to be a problem. If someone in Panama uses your image on a t-shirt designed in South Africa, made in China, shipped on a Danish ship, to a warehouse in Belgium, and marketed across Europe by a company in India. Your original image stored via an American ISP, registered in England, stored on a server in Russia, maintained by people in India. Who are you suing? Where are you suing them? I know that is extreme but it illustrates the point. The costs of chasing someone responsible would be huge and beyond most peoples means. Even then they could claim fair usage and make a reasonable case. I would suggest your best bet is to watermark every image you put online and accept that people may use the image for their own ends, as in reality the chances of success against someone are minimal.

    • Sara Hawkins July 23, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

      Even though the DMCA is a US law, it may be applicable outside the US. If the website/advertiser/registrar has expressly stated they will follow the DMCA process or the site is owned by a US company, the DMCA would apply. There are a number of different ways the DMCA would apply to non-US users. Europe has an equivalent to the DMCA, although it’s slightly different. Also, the DMCA does’t involve suing people. The DMCA is a US law that sets out a procedure for quickly handling the removal of allegedly copyrighted works that are posted on the internet. Pursing other legal remedies can be difficult. And while adding watermarks can be helpful, for those who are intent to using another person’s work that won’t necessarily stop them from removing the watermark.

  36. How to deal with copycats. – Secretary Deluxe July 23, 2017 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    […] How to File a DMCA Takedown […]

  37. Find Out Who’s Stolen Your Photos Online and What You Can Do About It August 8, 2017 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    […] a personal websites, you can file a DMCA notice with their ISP instead. You can find out more on how to file a DMCA notice with an ISP here — and check out sample DMCA takedown notice […]

  38. Freelancer Identity Theft: How to Prevent Identity Theft August 23, 2017 at 10:43 pm - Reply

    […] more information about DMCA takedown procedures and a legal perspective, check out Sarah Hawkins’s website. Her article helped me get out of my predicament and saved me a lot of […]

  39. Janine September 1, 2017 at 7:34 am - Reply

    Hi Sara,
    I run my own travel consulting page on a large social media platform, I recently used a google image of a hotel. This morning I received an invoice for $3500 because I used this image, I did not know about copyright infringements as it was just an image on google. I did not receive a takedown notice but an invoice for a large sum of money, this to me screams scam. I have taken down said image, but am wondering if I should contact a lawyer regarding this invoice?

    • Sara Hawkins September 7, 2017 at 4:21 pm - Reply

      Many companies send out demand letters instead of DMCA takedown requests because they want to get alleged damages for the allegedly unauthorized use. You likely need to seek legal counsel to determine how to handle the demand.

      • Anonymous September 14, 2017 at 2:56 pm - Reply

        Hi Sara,

        This might be a slightly odd request (maybe it isnt i dont know). A friend of mine, who is a cam model, does live shows on the internet for peoples entertainment. She has recently noticed that when she types her cam name on a search engine, alot of her video sessions come up. All of these videos have been recorded without her consent. She wants these search results to be to be removed. How should she proceed regarding this? Does she fill out this Takedown notice form or is that the responsibility of the website where she is modelling? Also, who would the recipient of this notice be?

        • Sara Hawkins September 23, 2017 at 3:14 pm - Reply

          For alleged copyright violations for online content, the DMCA provides a streamlined process to request allegedly infringing content be removed. Only the copyright holder or their authorized agent should file a DMCA Takedown. your friend may want to discuss this with the site(s) she models for or with an attorney knowledgeable in this area of law. The recipient of the Takedown Notice can be a host of options, such as the website itself, search engines, or advertisers.

    • Art September 19, 2017 at 11:07 pm - Reply

      They can send all the “invoices” they want, they can’t enforce it without a judgment and for that they’d have to file a lawsuit and win. Those demand letters are meant to intimidate. $3500 is a small claims amount, and that’s a court where you can defend yourself. Good luck!

      • Sara Hawkins September 23, 2017 at 2:44 pm - Reply

        Yes, demand letter are just that, demands. There may be a very strong legal basis for the ask or there may not. That is why I suggested speaking with an attorney knowledgeable about these type of demands. For example, if the work was timely registered you could face a copyright infringement suit. However, if it’s an organization known to send out these letters without a legal basis the response may be different.

  40. […] the complications of the takedown notice. Or you can go here to this post by Sara Hawkins with step by step instructions for filing a takedown […]

  41. […] [3] How to File a DMCA Takedown Notice. Sarah F Hawkins, Attorney at Law. Retrieved September 13, 2017 from https://sarafhawkins.com/how-to-file-dmca-takedown/ […]

  42. Matt September 25, 2017 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Hi Sara,
    What if permission was given at one point, but now permission is no longer granted?

    • Sara Hawkins October 4, 2017 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      It depends on what permission was granted for use of a copyrighted work. If the permission was revokable, then it can be revoked. If permission was non-revokable it can’t be revoked. If the permission was silent as to revocability, that creates a legal question that’s not easily answered.

  43. raj September 27, 2017 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Can use any other images on my blog ….with modification and with credit link…..for fair use…

    • Sara Hawkins October 4, 2017 at 1:25 pm - Reply

      Maybe or maybe not. Fair use doesn’t address modifications, it’s a legal construct for providing an exception to copyright infringement. Providing credit has nothing not do with copyright and/or Fair Use. Providing credit is a plagiarism issue.

      • Heather January 29, 2018 at 2:10 pm - Reply

        A friend of mine used someone’s photo on his blog and received a letter not only demanding he remove the infringing image but also demanding a specified amount of license, explicitly stating removing the image is not enough. Are there license fees set by statute or it is whatever they want to ask for the license? The amount is around $1,000 and seems exorbitant considering the minimal use (his blog gets only 100-200 views total!).

        • Sara Hawkins February 27, 2018 at 1:35 pm - Reply

          License fees are not set by statute. License fees, as well as other fees demanded for prior unapproved use, are open for interpretation. Anyone can make a demand for compensation, but that doesn’t mean the other party is going to pay. US Copyright law sets forth damages if there is a finding for infringement. However, until you file a lawsuit and proceed with that process any request for fees/damages is between the parties.

  44. […] posts commentary on your writing, more like a book review, then you are not supposed to submit a DMCA notice. You must consider whether the use of your content is fair before submitting a takedown […]

  45. […] Send it to the ISP– Different providers have different methods of communication and, while some may have easy forms for sending in your request, others may not. Nonetheless, you must send your request in whatever form they specify (even fax). […]

  46. Copyright Infringement: The Blogger’s Boogeyman - Bridle & Bone October 27, 2017 at 6:03 am - Reply

    […] information may be found online with the DMCA or here. […]

  47. […] a DMCA Takedown Notice. You can do that for FREE by following the template on this website. You will have to file one for every site your image appears on. Make sure to take a screenshot of […]

  48. […] a working definition of and how to apply for a copyright, how to file a take down notice and some of the complications of doing so were all valuable pieces of information for an aspiring […]

  49. Thorawyn November 14, 2017 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Hi Sara! I make kitschy prayer candles as gifts or to sell to a local gift shop using photos of musicians I find online. How do I make sure I am doing this correctly? The photos are usually found during a Google search, and I always make sure to use those that do not have any sort of copyright logo on them. I am super new to this, and don’t want to get into any trouble. The local gift shop that sells them will soon be in a Holiday Gift Giving Gide issue of our free local newspaper, featuring these candles. I’m wondering what I need to do to protect myself. When can I use photos I find online for my work? Note: I use the photos and digitally alter them, add color, borders, etc before printing for my candles.

    • Sara Hawkins November 16, 2017 at 8:28 pm - Reply

      There are two issues here, copyright and the right of publicity. Individuals have the right to control how their image is used, especially in a commercial use. This is especially true for celebrities. Copyright law does not require that any information is printed on the work to indicate there is a copyright. This is especially significant to photographers who often find watermarks to be obtrusive. If you’re using copyrighted images of people there isn’t much you can do to protect yourself from quite a significant risk of liability.

  50. Anonymous November 16, 2017 at 4:52 am - Reply

    Sara,
    I submitted to Google a DMCA Notice regarding two photos that were stolen and posted on a revenge website along with some very bad and false information about me. I went to court and was granted a two year order of protection signed by a Judge in California.

    The court order includes, but is not limited to, the following: “Jennifer O is ordered to cease and desist posting of information on any social media website about (name excluded), NO posting of defamatory comments on the Internet, which would include blogs, and ALL Revenge websites like reportmyex.com. NO posting of photos of petitioner, and NO posting of city of residence or past residences of petitioner.”

    I received back from google the following: Thanks for reaching out to us.
    We are concerned that your copyright infringement notification may not be valid for the following URLs: (URLs omitted)

    Please keep in mind that in many countries, it is legal to use copyrighted works in specific ways without the owner’s authorization, particularly for transformative purposes such as news reporting, parody, commentary, or review. Some countries protect such uses under the doctrines of “fair use” or “fair dealing,” while others allow for specific exceptions to copyright protection.

    If you still believe your copyright is being infringed by the URLs identified in your request, please explain in detail why you think so. We ask that you provide more detail than was included in your initial notice.

    Here are some questions you may wish to consider:
    How much of your copyrighted work is used?
    How is the market for your original work affected by this use?
    Does this use significantly transform your original work, or does it serve the same purpose?
    Does this use fall into an exception to copyright protection?

    I don’t know what else to include. It would seem like it is obvious that the copyrighted images were posted on a revenge website, (which you cannot get removed) I am requesting that the URL’s and Images be removed from Google search results.

    Please give me any suggestions you might have, or feel free to contact me via my email. Thank you in advance for your help.

    • Sara Hawkins November 16, 2017 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      Submitting a DMCA Notice requires you to be the copyright holder or the exclusive agent of the copyright holder. If you are not the copyright holder/exclusive agent or it is not a copyright matter, using a DMCA Notice is not the appropriate means of removing content. IF you have a court order, Google handles those through a different process than DMCA Notices.

  51. Rick November 30, 2017 at 3:58 am - Reply

    Hello,
    I have a copyright issue where I previously owned a domain name and ran the blog called footballorsoccer.com. However, through some complication with payment method, i lost the domain to a company that buys parked domains.

    Link: http://footballorsoccer.com/the-cancacaf-gold-cup-kick-off-with-canada-vs-martinique-and-mexico-vs-panama-in-rose-bowl-doubleheader/

    My issue is that somehow they got my content and exact site design on the domain previously own by me up. How do I go about getting them to take down the stolen content and my customized site design?

    Please let me know how to proceed and thanks for your help in advance!
    Rick

    • Sara Hawkins December 21, 2017 at 3:03 pm - Reply

      Just because someone is able to obtain a domain that was once a live website doesn’t mean they have a legal right to the content that was on the website. You should speak with an attorney about your options under the various copyright, trademark, and domain name use laws. Filing a DMCA takedown may not be a permanent solution depending how the current domain owner replies.

      • Ric May 13, 2018 at 5:59 pm - Reply

        Hi Sara,

        Thank you for your response and suggestion! I will decide on whether or not it’s financially viable for me to go that route and move forward from there.
        Thank you!

    • Anthony Curtis January 24, 2018 at 5:49 pm - Reply

      Can a takedown notice be tailored to apply to patented material that being sold by a vendor who has infringe on a patent? For example a product sold that looks like a product you produce on EBay or Amazon?

      • Sara Hawkins January 29, 2018 at 7:06 am - Reply

        Anthony,

        There is no takedown equivalent for patent matters, those are handled privately or through the courts. Some online sites do have complaint processes that will mediate a situation, but for the most part patent matters do not have a streamlined process like the DMCA. Keep in mind, filing a DMCA for a non-copyright matter will likely result in the DMCA takedown being ignored. However, there are possible penalties for filing false DMCA takedowns so be sure to use that process as intended.

    • Chris April 6, 2018 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      I’m going through the same thing Rick. I filed an DMCA and the guy who is hosting my copyrighted content filed a counter-notice (fraudulently as he has no license to use my blog articles and research). Now the web host says they want to be left out of it. My recourse is to hire an attorney but this was a blog not a business and the thief is overseas. It very much seems like the crooks just win. For me, twelve years of research and millions of blog views have just been handed over to this guy to profit off. My name is still all over the site too so there is the added identity theft issue. It’s infuriating. I hope your issue resolves better than mine has.

  52. […] your DMCA email I used a basic DMCA template from SarahFHawkins.com to complete my notice after initially being declined for not including a statement under penalty of […]

  53. […] Compose a stern letter. You can see what you need to include HERE. Copy all of your correspondence to all email addresses and contact forms, including their […]

  54. Wendy Gillissen March 7, 2018 at 10:45 am - Reply

    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks so much for putting this much needed information online.
    I am the author and copyright holder of a novel ”Curse of the Tahiera”, published by Booklocker inc. in the USA. My own nationality is Dutch, and I have written both an English version, published by Booklocker, and a Dutch one here in the Netherlands. I found out this week that there is a Dutch ISP based in Amsterdam that is host to at least 14 websites, operated mainly by African nationals, that offer illegal ”free” downloads of books, amongst others an illegal copy of the English version of my book. I have sent several DMCA notices using your template to their specified contact in the Netherlands, but they simply ignore my e-mails. What could I do if they simply keep ignoring my DMC notice? I wonder if this matter is complicated by the fact that the ISP is Dutch, and the original content was published in the USA under USA law, the website owners apparently mostly African, and the copyright holder, again, Dutch. I would appreciate your input! Kind regards, Wendy

    • Wendy Gillissen March 7, 2018 at 10:47 am - Reply

      PS my apologies for getting your first name wrong – I know a lot of people called Sarah with an ”h”, hence the mistake 🙂

    • Sara Hawkins April 25, 2018 at 12:08 pm - Reply

      The DMCA is a US law and has little, if any, enforcement power in the EU or any other part of the world. For an EU-based ISP you would have to use EU or country-specific laws unless the ISP operates in the US, has servers in the US, or markets to US residents and avails themselves of US laws.

  55. How to remove stolen content from the internet – Helen Patterson March 15, 2018 at 7:16 am - Reply

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  56. How to remove stolen content from the internet – Pamela Hetrick March 15, 2018 at 7:20 am - Reply

    […] this template and include all information relevant to your […]

  57. How to remove stolen content from the internet - Ali Raza Abbass March 15, 2018 at 8:17 am - Reply

    […] this template and include all information relevant to your […]

  58. How to remove stolen content from the internet - Bailey Street Design March 18, 2018 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    […] this template and include all information relevant to your […]

  59. Allison April 7, 2018 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    Hello Sara,
    Do you know if the DCMA Takedown Notice and Process is the same for a company based in the United Kingdom? My company’s products are posted on another company’s website without my consent. In addition, there is a ‘subscribe to the latest from {my company}’ signup link on this site which is completely not related to me or my company in any form whatsoever.
    Thank you for your assistance,

    • Sara Hawkins April 25, 2018 at 10:55 am - Reply

      United Kingdom based ISP’s have a different DMCA Takedown process than those in the USA. ISPs, websites and service providers registered within the UK can follow the local EU law when processing takedowns. Despite the US DMCA Takedown process not being applicable, many ISPs, websites, and service providers will take action upon a detailed request based on copyright infringement.

      Your situation appears to be more complex as it is both copyright and trademark issues that are involved. You may want to engage counsel knowledgeable in UK laws to address this matter.

  60. James Baker April 12, 2018 at 11:22 am - Reply

    The company Sundazed/Beatrocket is selling my music and lyrics in vinyl and digital, and collecting ad money. (Kings Verses album). I notified them as far back as 2013 and they said they took it down. Then they put it back up. They are aware they paid an unauthorized person (previous drummer who had nothing to do with the creation of my music/lyrics) and have stated in several emails that they would ‘make it right’. They have now cut off contact with me and I cannot find an attorney that does contingency as I cannot afford to hire an attorney. Thank you for any ideas.

    • Sara Hawkins April 25, 2018 at 10:36 am - Reply

      Unfortunately, very few attorneys will undertake a copyright infringement matter on contingency. You may wish to reach out to an artist advocacy group to determine if there are resources available.

  61. […] a personal websites, you can file a DMCA notice with their ISP instead. You can find out more on how to file a DMCA notice with an ISP here — and check out sample DMCA takedown notice […]

  62. Katy June 21, 2018 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    Hi Sara,

    I was wondering if your name and personal info on the DMCA form would be given to the person who posted the content without permission? I recently filled one out and my content was removed. Just curious if it’s kept private?

    Thanks

    • sara August 12, 2018 at 1:32 pm - Reply

      Yes, any information furnished on a DMCA takedown notice or counter notice may be passed along to the other party involved in the dispute.

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