These days anybody can file a DMCA Takedown Notice. Whether or not your content is really being infringed, if you follow these simple steps you can get someones website taken down, video removed from YouTube, or pictures taken off of Facebook. Preferably, you will only do this to someone who really is pirating your content, copying your well written blog posts, or stole your work and didn’t pay.”How do I get started,” you ask? Well it’s simple!
Find out where the web site (that stole your content) is hosted by doing a Whois Lookup. The reason for doing this is so you can find out who the ISP is that is hosting it and who the Registrar is that the domain is registered through. Sometimes, a simple whois lookup won’t do the trick to find who is hosting the site. In that case, you have to resort to some geeky tools. You can Traceroute a domain name. Take a look at the bottom of the list and the last one or two entries will tell you the URL or name of the web hosting company the domain is on. If that ends in failure do a DNS lookup to see if that uncovers the name of the infringer’s web host (in the authority or additional sections).
Now that you find out who the Registrant is and who the ISP is you can proceed to sending out your notices. With your research in hand you will want to send a DMCA notice to the ISP (who is hosting the site). This is surprisingly simple – all you have to do is fill in the blanks on this form: DMCA-ISP. Next, to really drive the point home, you will want to notify the major search engines about this scoundrel’s misdeeds! Again, fill in the blanks on these forms: DMCA-Yahoo, DMCA-MSN, and DMCA-Google.
When these are filled out, print them and send them to the appropriate person. For the ISP, go to the website of the ISP and find the companies legal representative or support contact and send the form. By law, they have 24 hours to respond to your notice. If, for some reason, they do not respond then use the same tools above to find the upstream provider for the ISP and send a DMCA notice to them. I assure you they will notice you then.
In summation, here are the key things to remember when sending a DMCA notice. The forms provided should help you with that.
- Send the notification to the correct party.
- Send it using the correct delivery method (ie fax, email, registered mail).
- Clearly identify the date and jurisdiction (your location).
- Clearly identify yourself and your website.
- Clearly identify the copyright violator.
- Clearly outline the copyright violations using searches, screenshots, and so forth.
- Demand removal of the offending material.
- Attest that you are the owner of the copyright and send it’s registration (if you registered it).