Notice of Action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

January 4th, 2012

Our internet law attorneys specialize in online copyright infringement and Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices. If you have question about a DMCA takedown notice as a website host, website publisher, copyright owner or person who has published an article, photo, video or recording which is alleged to be copyright infringement, feel free to contact one of our DMCA attorneys for more information.

Welcome to Copyright Law Radio. We bring you the best in copyright news, legal advice and information.  From copyright infringement claims and defenses to threat letter issues, DMCA takedown notice letters, copyright licensing, and legal analysis of the latest copyright law cases, we have a copyright attorney who can answer your copyright questions.

Welcome to Copyright Law Radio. My name is Attorney Enrico Schaefer.   I specialize in copyright actions, copyright litigation and internet law.  A big thing going on in the Internet Space right now, of course, is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  We receive a lot of emails and contacts from prospective clients about their receipt of a “notice of action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.”

The first question we need to answer is what is a notice of action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA?  The answer is that there is no particular thing that is a notice of action under the DMCA, but you often will receive a notice of action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act from an ISP, an internet service provider, such as Comcast or some other ISP who has, in fact, received a notice from upstream from a copyright owner.

How does this work under the DMCA?  What happens is that a copyright owner or their attorney representing the copyright owner or an authorized representative of the copyright owner, will send a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice to a web host or ISP indicating that they believe that their copyright is being infringed on the Internet.  When that happens, the ISP or web host will provide notice, if they can, to the person who posted or downloaded illegal content, content that someone has affirmed violates their copyright rights.  So, when you receive a notice of action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, what you are receiving is the notice from the ISP or the web host that a third party copyright owner is complaining about something that you downloaded; something that you are making available on a peer-to-peer network through their server, or some song, photo, graphic or image that has been posted by you on their web site or in their web service.

So, oftentimes, Facebook, for instance, will have things posted on it that a third party will have copyright in, and what they’ll do is they’ll file a DMCA takedown notice to the web host, to the infringer, if they can identify that infringer, which normally they can’t, and to the ISP.  Now, the ISP, such as Charter, can identify who you are because they can see when the particular item was uploaded or downloaded to a computer, to a web site on the Internet, and then they can, from the timestamp, trace that to an internet connection, and they can trace that internet connection to an account.  And if that account is you at that particular timestamp moment, they know that, in fact, over their network, you’re the one that either downloaded the illegal song or uploaded the illegal song or allowed a song to be put through their network for someone else’s peer-to-peer advantage, or that you put a copyright protected work on a particular web site.

So, if you receive one of these notice of actions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, you do need to worry because what it tells you is that the copyright owner has in fact identified you through the ISP.  Now, they may not know your name yet, but they can easily get it through a subpoena to the ISP after filing a lawsuit.

So, by the way, you do have an opportunity to object to a notice of action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the DMCA, if you believe that, in fact, you own the copyright or third party does not own the copyright.

So, if you receive one of these notice of actions, it’s a good thing to contact a copyright infringement attorney and make sure that you are protected from what will be the nuclear option, which is a lawsuit filed against you for copyright infringement, and a good copyright infringement attorney can help you navigate through this in order to either eliminate or minimize the risk of getting sued.

The last thing you want is a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against you.  In the recording industry with music, they’re very aggressive going after people who have downloaded illegal content.  When it comes to pornography, again, there are companies out there that are very aggressive for someone that may download an illegal porn image onto their computer that is copyright protected.  So, you do have to worry about these things, and what might start out as several thousand dollar problem, could turn into tens or hundreds of thousands of problems in both legal fees, costs and potential liability, meaning that you could get sued for up to $150,000 in statutory damages plus attorney’s fees.  One of the big questions we always get is how much does it cost to defend or write a letter or provide an assessment of a particular copyright risk?  And the answer is a lot less than if you get sued.

My name is Copyright Attorney Enrico Schaefer.  We will see you next time.

You’ve been listening to Copyright Law Radio, where copyright infringement, licensing, litigation, and news are always the topic of the day.  Whether you are a copyright attorney or a client, we are the number one resource for all your copyright questions.

Share Button

5 Responses to “Notice of Action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)”

  1. Filing a notice of action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA is serious business. A lot of copyright owners were representatives of copyright owners get this part of the DMCA wrong. Some people mistakenly believe that they in fact are the copyright owner of the work, one in is in fact their company or another employee who is the copyright owner. Before you provide notice under the Digital millennium copyright act to an ISP, web host or other website operator, you need to make sure that you are in fact the person who is authorized to claim ownership rights in the work you are providing notice on.

  2. the big question is what you should do if you receive a notice of action under the DMCA and you don’t believe he did anything wrong. In many instances, the notice of action will go to an ISP who is providing you with your Internet connection. But any one who has access to the Internet connection as a user can potentially upload copyright protected materials through your Internet connection. Often time, the account holder for the Internet connection is not the person who uploaded the allegedly copyright protected material.

    Sometimes, lawyers send DMCA takedown notices alleging copyright infringement on photographs and images which depict pornography. The DMCA attorney will threaten a lawsuit which will publicly expose you for viewing pornography if you don’t pay the settlement demanded in the copyright infringement lawsuit. The numbers just high enough to be painful but low enough to cause you to wonder whether or not it is best to simply make the matter go away rather than hire a copyright attorney.

    If you receive a notice of action under the digital millennium copyright act, you should contact a DMCA lawyer specializes in copyright law. An experienced DMCA attorney can help you understand your legal rights so that you can make good decisions about how to respond.

  3. If you get a notice of action from Comcast, you need to probably talk to an attorney. The next thing you may receive is a copyright infringement lawsuit from the copyright owner. The the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA Provides Comcast protection from a copyright lawsuit but it does not protect you. Oftentimes, the account holder for the ISP denies that they engaged in any illegal downloading or copyright infringement. Because the account holder may not be the only person who has access to the Internet connection, the primary effort by the copyright owner is to identify who exactly had access to the Internet connection at the time of the legal download and on which computer. While people want to deny that they engage in any illegal downloading, it is often easy to identify who downloaded or offered for download copyright protected materials through a subpoena and some rudimentary investigation. This is especially true when the Internet connection is password-protected and are only a few people who have access to the password.

  4. many people mistakenly believe that if a original work of authorship does not have a copyright notice then they can use that work freely. A copyright notice is not required in order for the copyright owner to have protection or claim original work of authorship. The correct form of a copyright notice is "Copyright or © (date) by (author/owner)." Posting a copyright notice of course is always a great idea if you are a copyright owner. But if you’re looking at using someone else’s copyright protected work, you better make sure you are within the license provided or get permission of the copyright owner

  5. DMCA Lawyer says:

    A good DMCA lawyer will help you understand all of your legal options under copyright law. The Digital millennium copyright act is pretty specialized and unique path specifically to deal with Internet copyright issues.

Leave a Reply

Domain attorney recommended by Domaining.com
© 2011 Traverse Legal, PLC. All Rights Reserved.
Traverse Legal on LinkedInTraverse Legal on FacebookTraverse Legal on Twitter
Events & Conferences:
  • International Trademark Association 2011, San Francisco, California
  • Cyber Law Summit 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Game Developers Conference 2011, San Francisco, California
  • DOMAINfest 2011, Santa Monica, California
Recent Attorney Speaking Engagements:
  • South By Southwest 2010 SXSW Interactive Conference, Austin, Texas
  • West LegalEdcenter Midwestern Law Firm Management, Chicago, Illinois
  • Internet Advertising under Part 255, Altitude Design Summit, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Online Defamation and Reputation Management, News Talk 650 AM, The Cory Kolt Show, Canada Public Radio Saskatewan Canada
  • Alternative Fee Structures, Center for Competitive Management, Jersey City, New Jersey
  • FTC Part 255 Advertising Requirements, Mom 2.0 Conference, Houston, Texas
  • Webmaster Radio, Cybersquatting & Domain Monetization, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Notable Complex Litigation Cases Handled By Our Lawyers:
  • Trademark Infringement, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Cybersquatting Law, Trademark Law and Dilution Detroit, Michigan
  • Internet Defamation & Online Libel Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Trade Secret Theft, Chicago, Illinois
  • Cybersquatting Law, Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act Miami, Florida
  • Cybersquatting Law, Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act Eastern Dist. of Virginia, Alexandria
  • Stolen Domain Name, Orlando, Florida
  • Commercial Litigation, Tampa, Florida
  • Copyright Infringement and Cybersquatting Law, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Mass Tort Litigation, Los Angeles, California
  • Stolen Domain Name, Detroit, Michigan
  • Adwords Keyword Trademark Infringement, Los Angeles, California
  • Trademark Infringement & Unfair Competition, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Non-Compete Agreement and Trade Secret Theft, Detroit, Michigan
  • Mass Tort, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Mass Tort, Tyler, Texas
  • Insurance Indemnity, New York
  • Copyright Infringement, Detroit, Michigan