How to Do a DMCA Takedown

  • Step 1: Find the website(s) that may be infringing on your copyrighted content. 
    • This can be done manually, or through using a third party scanning system.
    • It is a good practice to retain an electronic copy or screenshot of the infringing website’s page.
  • Step 2: Depending on the type of takedown, you have a few options
    • Domain Level Takedown: You must first locate the infringing website’s host. This can be tricky, but generally this can be done by performing an IP WHOIS search, or checking the website’s terms and conditions or privacy policy.
    • Google or Third Party Website Takedown: You must locate the proper DMCA form to be filled out. Some websites do not have a form, and you must send an email in the proper DMCA format to the website.
  • Step 3: Determine the Copyright Agent
    • Now you must determine the person’s name to send your notice. This person is generally referred to as the Copyright Agent. 
      • To locate this person’s information you should search the “legal”, “terms of use” or “privacy policy” section of the website.
      • If you are unable to find the correct person or link, then you can alway search the Copyright Office’s Directory of Copyright Agents. But generally this is not up to date.
  • Step 4: Draft Your Takedown Notice
    • Sometimes you will get lucky and the website will have a form. However, if the website does not have a form that can be filled out, then you will need to draft a form letter.
    • Elements of DMCA Form Letter
      • Title – DMCA Takedown Notice
      • Body – These Terms are required to be in the letter:
        1. A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright or intellectual property right that has been allegedly infringed upon;
        2. Identification in sufficient detail of the material being infringed upon;
        3. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing upon the intellectual property. Include information regarding the location of the infringing material with sufficient detail so that the web host is capable of finding and verifying its existence;
        4. Contact information about the notifier (e.g., name of the intellectual property owner, name/title of the person contacting the web host on the owner’s behalf, address, telephone number, and email address)
        5. A statement that the notifier has a good-faith belief that the material is not authorized by the intellectual property or copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
        6. A statement made under penalty of perjury that the information provided is accurate and the notifying party is authorized to make the complaint on behalf of the intellectual property or copyright owner.
    • If your notice contains all of the above items, the web host should remove the images within a reasonable time (although the alleged infringer can still sent a counter notice).
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