If you use the internet, there is a good chance you have encountered copyrighted information posted without the permission of the copyright holder. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, copyright holders can file notice with an ISP if they believe their copyright is being infringed upon by a post on a website. If you post copyrighted material without permission or post material that resembles copyrighted material, you may receive notice from your ISP that your account has been suspended. If you receive a DMCA takedown notice, a skilled attorney can guide you through the resulting process and help you protect your rights.

When you receive a DMCA notice, it is important to carefully read it. If the notice is missing information about the copyrighted information in question, it is important to contact the ISP and request the full DMCA notice. If you read the notice carefully, it should include information identifying the copyrighted work and whether the work itself has been removed or your whole site has been taken down. If you can access and edit your postings, remove the copyrighted work and contact the ISP’s DMCA branch to request your website be restored. If you have removed the alleged infringement, your service should be restored. Restoring your website can be a relatively easy first step.

Next, an attorney can help you analyze the DMCA claim and determine how to respond. If you believe the work in question is not copyrighted and the claim is incorrect, an attorney can help you draft a response and develop a defense of fair use or prove it’s an original work. An attorney familiar with copyright law can determine your best response to a DMCA claim. The DMCA notice should contain information to contact the complaining party. If there is a question regarding the complaint, it may be a good idea to contact them. If you are working with an attorney, they will be able to communicate with the complaining party effectively to answer questions and determine if a settlement or agreement is in your best interest. A skilled attorney can determine if the DMCA complaint is warranted and determine how to contact the copyright holder.

If you and your attorney determine that the DMCA complaint is warrantless, it may be worth filing a counter-notice. The DMCA allows you to file a counter-notice with the ISP to contest the claim. The counter-notice could lead to a lawsuit or cause other legal issues, and it is best to consult an attorney before deciding to do so. A DMCA counter-notice can lead to liability, and you should be fully aware of the consequences before filing one.

This article is not meant as legal advice, and if you receive a DMCA notice, you should contact an attorney. The attorneys at Stone Law, P.C. can help you if you received such a notice.  Call us now at 732-444-6303