What is DMCA?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is a requirement of US Copyright Law that applies to a specific procedure for removing content from the internet.

What does DMCA do?

The DMCA, passed by Congress in 1998, seeks to protect copyright holders when their data or content is posted online without their consent or knowledge. It establishes safeguards for service providers, such as Internet service providers (ISPs), who are not directly liable for copyright infringement. It also provides a system for removing this content that does not require copyright holders to sue sites using work without permission.

​​The act aims to create a different path for copyright holders to maintain control over their content and assets. By providing a resolution procedure centered on the rapid removal of copyrighted resources, owners have recourse for action, and websites can respond promptly rather than being brought to court.

Does DMCA work in the UK?

Although the DMCA is part of US Copyright law, a DMCA Takedown Notice is widely used and accepted worldwide and is not limited to the US. Many countries, however, have copyright regulations about removing information from internet service providers and site owners within their borders. Which service providers accept and reject the typical DMCA takedown request form and process is fluid and ever-changing. 

ISPs in the United Kingdom follow a different (DMCA) Takedown procedure than those in the United States. When handling takedowns, ISPs, OSPs, websites, and service providers registered in the UK can apply local EU law, and Canadians have their own Canadian streaming act (Bill C11). Although the DMCA is founded on US Copyright, they are a global company that handles content takedown and removal for clients worldwide.

What does a DMCA notice do?

The DMCA notice and takedown process allows copyright holders to have user-uploaded material that violates their copyrights removed from websites. The copyright owner (or the owner’s representative) sends a takedown notice to a service provider, asking that the provider delete material that infringes on their copyright. A service provider could be an internet service provider, a website operator, a search engine, a web host, or another online site operator. 

The copyright law specifies certain things that should be included in a takedown notification. The service provider may refuse to remove the material if most of these parts are missing. Even if a takedown notice satisfies all legal criteria, the service provider may refuse to release the information. However, failure to do so exposes them to potential secondary liability for helping with copyright infringement.

Can you ignore DMCA?

You must reply to the DMCA takedown notice immediately, regardless of who sends you the notification or whether you confirm or dispute the alleged copyright violation. If you do not answer, you may face a copyright infringement case.

Review and confirm the claimed copyright infringement indicated on the takedown notice after receiving a DMCA notice directly or through your ISP. If there is a copyright infringement, you should remove the specified material.

If, on the other hand, you have reason to contest the takedown notice because you have authorization to use the copyrighted work, send a counter-notification to the entity who issued you the takedown notice – your ISP, the copyright owner, or their agent.

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