Erik Sherman’s WriterBiz
Registering a DMCA Complaint
Usually taking action against a copyright infringer is complicated, expensive, and a pain. But there is a big exception. If the infringement is on the web and the ISP – Internet service provider – that actually hosts the web site for the infringer is in the United States, you can use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA). This legislation, passed just before the turn of the latest millennium, among other things gives to creators the ability to approach the ISP, assert that you own the copyright of the infringed material and that it is being used without permission, and insist that the ISP remove the material.
To use the DMCA, you must send a written “notification of claimed infringement” – a letter with the following elements:
· a statement saying that you are the owner of an exclusive right that is being infringed.
· identification of the work of, if multiple works, a list of the works
· identification of the pages that are infringing your copyright, including the full addresses of the pages (enough for the ISP to find the pages)
· your contact information, including mailing address, telephone number, and email address
· a statement that you “have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law”
· a statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed
· your signature
To identify the ISP, do the following:
1. Point a browser to www.internic.net.
2. Click on the Whois link on the top right (at least it was the last time I checked.)
3. Type in the domain (name.com or name.biz or whatever it is) without the www part. Check that you are putting in the domain, then click the button Submit button.
4. Now you get the name of the registrar. Point the browser to that registrar.
5. Find the Contact Us link and ask where to send a DMCA notice.
The ISP will likely contact the site owner for a response, and the process may take a week or more, but in the end the ISP will have to take down the material or face serious legal penalties that make a copyright suit look cheap.
© 2007 Erik Sherman, All Rights Reserved
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Erik Sherman, firstname.lastname@example.org