Frequently Asked Questions

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What Does DMCA Stand For?

  • DMCA is an abbreviation for Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.

What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

  • There are two main section to the DMCA.
    • The “Anti-Circumvention” provision (sections 1201 et seq. of the Copyright Act) was put in place to discourage copyright pirates from circumventing and trafficking in copyrighted content. (i.e. peer to peer file exchanges, limiting how many times you can copy software onto different computers)
    • The “Safe Harbor” provision (sections 512 et seq. of the Copyright Act) limits the liability of Internet Service Providers (ISP) for the alleged copyright infringement of its users. Without this provision, the risk of potential copyright liability would prevent ISP’s from providing their services or transmitting content.

What is a DMCA Takedown?

  • In order for an ISP to receive Safe Harbor protection they must comply with the conditions set forth under Section 512, including providing a  “notice and takedown” procedure that allows copyright holders a fast and easy way to “Takedown” the alleged infringing material. Section 512 also provides provisions that allows users to challenge improper DMCA takedowns.

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).

Why You Should Remove Stolen Content with a DMCA Takedown

  • You have spent considerable time and money creating high quality content only to have someone steal it and use it for their own personal financial gain.
  • Stolen content can confuse Google and other search engines, thus resulting in Duplicate Content Penalties,  which will lower your page in search results.

Does it Always Work?

  • If it is a legitimate DMCA takedown, and the host or third party website has a connection with the United States, then yes it should work. However, this does not mean that the infringing website may not pop up again under a new domain. This is why it is important to do routinely scan your content with

How Long Does it Take?

  • Generally, it can take up to 2 weeks for the DMCA takedown to be completed. The time varies depending on the host domain provider or third party website.

How Much Does it Cost if I Hire a Lawyer to do a DMCA Takedown?

  • Generally, the average cost for a lawyer to provide a DMCA takedown notice is around $500.

Important Things to Remember

  • If the host domain or third party website is outside of the United States, it does not need to comply with the DMCA. This is because the courts in the United States do not have jurisdiction over other countries. However, if the host domain or third party website has connection with the United Stats, (i.e. servers, or other assets) then they will need to respond.

Alternatives to DMCA Takedown

  • Request the website owner to add credit and/or backlink to the article or image
  • Send a cease-and-desist letter with a demand for payment yourself
  • Hire legal counsel to send a cease-and-desist letter on your behalf with a demand for payment
  • Hire legal counsel to file a copyright infringement lawsuit

What Does Do?

  • Helps you find stolen content
  • Helps you submit DMCA takedowns

What Type of Takedowns Can You Do and What is the Difference?

  • There are two types of DMCA takedowns you can perform on, they are:
    • Google
    • Host Domain

How Much Does it Cost?

  • Basic Plan
    • Google Takedown Only
      • $5.00 per Google Takedown
      • Cost of Scans
        • 2 Free URL Scans and 1 Free Takedown Per Month
          • Unused Free Scans or Takedowns do not accumulate or rollover
        • 3 ½ cents** (first 200 words scanned)
        • 1 ½ cents** (each add’l 100 words scanned)
  • Pro Plan
    • Google + Domain Takedowns 
      • $2.50 per Google or Domain Takedown 
        • 5 Free Takedowns Per Month
          • Unused Free Scans or Takedowns do not accumulate or rollover
        • 3 cents** (first 200 words scanned)
        • 1 cents** (each add’l 100 words scanned)

Can You Always Find the Hosting of the Site You Want to Take Down?

  • While we try very hard from time to time, we cannot find the infringing site’s hosting.  It’s possible that they are using their own servers or less than reputable hosting.  If when using you find a missing host, please contact [email protected] so that we can investigate.
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