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Take Down Notice for Online Copyright Infringement: Steps to Complete the Process

Does copyright provide any protection rights to the copyright holder of the original work? Indeed, it does. Copyright safeguards an artist’s, author’s, or producer’s work regardless of whether the work is registered or not under Copyright law. Copyright protects everything created by the owner, provided that such work must be original. Unfortunately, the Internet is now the most probable platform for copyrighted work to be exploited without the owner’s consent.

People often make the mistake of assuming that information published on the Internet is freely accessible to everyone. As a result, they continue to post copyrighted content without providing credit to the original creator. As a consequence, it’s essential to keep the protected content safe from piracy. 

Copyright holders have the option of serving Takedown Notices to Internet Service Providers claiming that the relevant website contains material that violates the copyright holder’s rights. Additionally, the owner has to provide all relevant information about the copyright infringement, and as a result, the hosting website removes such infringing content from its website. If you’re a blogger or website content writer, it’s critical to understand how to combat online copyright infringement with a Takedown notice.

This article will cover online copyright infringement and steps to submit a takedown request to safeguard your material from such violation. 

What if your work is published online without your permission?

If the owner of a copyrighted work identifies the copied content published on another’s website, the copyright owner has essentially three choices:

  1. Contact the person directly: 
    The copyright holder must contact the individual who copied the work immediately. Inform him of the copyright protection afforded to his work that has been published online without his permission and the need to remove it with immediate effect.
  2. File a copyright infringement case before the court:
    If the person infringing on the copyright holder’s work and fails to remove such material from the website, the copyright holder may sue such person in court. However, filing a case in court is not a good idea as it costs a lot of money and causes unnecessary stress to the owner.
  3. File Takedown notice:
    Suppose the work owner finds that copyrighted material – has been uploaded on the Internet without his knowledge. Submitting a DMCA takedown notice is an efficient way to get the content removed. However, it causes no much efforts and widely regarded as the most efficient way of removing infringing material off the web.

You may want to know: Do Copyright protect Web Content?

Let’s discuss more online copyright infringement and the steps to file a Takedown notice in detail.

 What is Online Copyright Infringement?

Infringement of copyright is the breach, piracy or theft of the exclusive rights of a copyright owner by the unlawful use of original works protected by copyright. A copyright infringement occurs when someone other than the copyright owner or authorized representative does an act that is the owner’s exclusive right. If anyone, for example, reproduces, translates, adapted, or publicly exhibits any work subject to copyright protection, it shall be liable for infringement.

Without the authorization of the original creator, one may not post or keep copyrighted content on the Internet. Copyright protects the original work of Authors. This protection extends to literature, dramatic, musical, artistic, and other intellectual works. The copyright rules of the Internet allow the original writers or artists to exclude others from copying or claiming their work. An infringement of your rights may include publishing a photograph, song, and video or intellectual property related works on a website without your permission to do so. Nevertheless, to mitigate online copyright infringement, the copyright owner usually sends a takedown notice.

You should read: Infringement of Intellectual Property

What is a Takedown Notice?

A Takedown notice defined as a:

  1. Legal request issued by the copyright owner or his agent in the form of notification. 
  2. For the publication of copyrighted work online without the owner’s prior permission,
  3. To the person who published it or to the website provider or owner of the website where the content is published
  4. The reason for such notice is to remove the infringing content from the website.

Who can submit a DMCA Request?

A copyright holder may submit a DMCA request to a web provider, also known as an Internet Service Provider (ISP), either alone or with the assistance of an experienced expert.

Steps for filing Takedown Notice

    1. Be sure about online copyright infringement:
      Before you submit the takedown notice, it is evident to double-check that there is an actual copyright violation. 
    2. Identify the Infringing website hosting provider
      The second step involved in the takedown notice is identifying the website’s hosting provider, which is the subject of copyright infringement. Many tools can help identify the hosting provider for the infringing domain. As will also provide an owner with the site’s IP address to be mention in the request. All you need to do is input the name of the domain, which is the public information.
    3. Filing of Taking down notice with the hosting provider
      When filing a Takedown notice on significant platforms such as eBay, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube, standard web-based request mainly used. Such request form is primarily available on the sites themselves. It is simple to fill out these forms, but you must include all of the required information to minimize the likelihood of your notice getting refused. Mostly, the hosting provider requires the submission of takedown notice in a format approved by the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). Many hosting providers have their form of submitting copyright infringement request. Nevertheless, an email is sent to the hosting company in the absence of such a format.

You should know: NFTs and Copyright – How far they are protected?

As per DMCA, the takedown notice must include the following:

  1. An electronic signature of the copyright holder or his authorized representative.
  2. Identification of the allegedly infringing work(s) along with the URL.
  3. Identification of the infringed copyrighted work along with detail of URL (where such copyright work published).
  4. Contact information for the hosting provider, such as your phone number, address, or email.
  5. A statement indicating that the copyrighted work used without the consent of the owner.
  6. Under penalty of perjury, a declaration that the information is accurate to the best of the copyright owner’s knowledge or his representative.
  1. Removal of infringing content
    The hosting provider may delete or restrict access to the infringing material if your request is determined to be legitimate. If the provider fails to comply with the request, they may face legal consequences.
  2. Takedown procedure by hosting provider.
    When the hosting provider or similar platform receives the takedown notice, it will often delete or block access to the infringing content to avoid liabilities. However, the third party who is responsible for uploading the allegedly infringing content may contest the infringement. If this occurs, the hosting website may reintroduce access to the content until the resolution of disagreement of a third party. If the third party deny your allegation of infringement, we recommend that you obtain independent legal counsel to discuss other ways of enforcing your copyright.

The purpose of this article is to provide a general overview of the subject. Submitting takedown notice may be a quick and efficient method to address many instances of your work being exploited online without your permission. HHS lawyers and legal consultants specialized in dealing with cases relating to the infringement of copyright. If you need the assistance of an expert copyright attorney for submitting a Takedown notice, don’t hesitate to contact us. 


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M. Al Khatem

Trademark & Intellectual Property

M. Al Khatem is a senior Trademark and Intellectual Property (IP) expert in HHS Lawyers. He has handled some of the firm’s complex, high-profile cases – many involving the protection of trademark and IP rights.