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

traverselegal - January 4, 2012 - Copyright Law, Digital Millennium Copyright Act Notice

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. (Scroll down to see   a free video on DMCA take down notice video). 

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.

What is a Notice of Action under the DMCA

The answer is that there is no “notice of action” under the DMCA.  However, ISPs will often send a notice of action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act after receiving a notice from upstream provider or copyright owner/agent.

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.

What to do if your Receive a DMCA Notice of Action.

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.

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.

Contact a Copyright Attorney Who Understands Copyright Infringement

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.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney Enrico Schaefer, who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a practicing Business, IP, and Technology Law litigation attorney.