Committed for Better Business

Due to the proliferation of the Internet, social media platforms, and hosting websites, online service providers have often become unwitting hosts of material that may infringe the copyrights of others. Similarly, original content creators have also increasingly become the target of unwarranted DMCA takedown requests. Sometimes these removal requests are made for anti-competitive or harassing purposes by the website operator’s competitors.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides a safe harbor in certain circumstances for operators of websites that host material submitted by third parties that may infringe the copyrights of others. If the copyright owner provides a takedown notice in accordance with the requirements of the DMCA and the website operator timely complies with its obligations under the DMCA, it may be protected from liability for copyright infringement. . The website operator may adopt and publish a copyright policy to facilitate DMCA compliance. Below is a sample copyright policy, which requests a takedown notice that includes at least the following information:

· A detailed description of the copyrighted work that you believe is being infringed;

A description of the location where the allegedly infringing content appears;

· Your contact information (including name, address, telephone number and email address);

A statement that you have a good faith belief that the alleged infringing use is not authorized by you as the copyright owner, your agent, or by law;

· A statement that, under penalty of perjury, the information in the notice is accurate and that you are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner; Y

An original signature of the copyright owner or someone authorized on behalf of the owner to assert copyright infringement and to file the claim.

In addition to the policy, the website operator must register an agent with the United States Copyright Office.

While the foregoing identifies a number of issues related to e-commerce and Internet law that affect DMCA compliance, further analysis may be required. For example, the timeliness requirement for removal has been a hot litigation topic lately. Additionally, the DMCA applies only to copyrights and does not currently provide a safe harbor for trademark infringement or patent infringement claims. These types of claims arising from website users may be addressed in the Terms of Use or other website agreement between the website operator and its users.

For more information, you can contact a DMCA attorney experienced in DMCA compliance, copyright policies, and DMCA takedown notices.

Disclaimer: As with any discussion of legal topics, this article is intended to be educational only and is not a substitute for legal advice, nor does it provide legal advice or form an attorney-client relationship with the reader. Please seek legal advice before making any decision. Also, please note that this article may not be updated, so the law and circumstances may have changed by the time you read this article.

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