A Step-by-Step Guide To Filing A DMCA Complaint & What To Expect

6 min read
Jan 26, 2023 9:17:39 AM

Are you looking for a way to protect your creative work from being illegally shared or distributed online? If so, filing a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown might be the solution for you. 


Learn more about the process, including how to construct and submit a DMCA takedown request.


What is a DMCA Complaint?


Digital Millennium Copyright Act is what DMCA stands for. A DMCA notice can also be called a DMCA takedown notification or a DMCA demand. The DMCA covers all copyrighted material that can be infringed online, including written words such as articles, poetry, and books. 


As long as certain conditions are met, the DMCA gives online service providers such as Youtube, Twitch, and Facebook certain "safe harbor" protections against copyright infringement liability.


Generally speaking, if your ISP or web host provider receives a DMCA claim, they will request the removal of the content right away or do it for you. Sometimes, they will even turn off your hosting.


It doesn't matter who sent you the DMCA notice or whether you agree with the alleged copyright infringement. You must respond immediately to the notice. You could face a copyright infringement suit if you do not respond.


Be sure your copyrighted work has been infringed upon. 


Before you proceed with filing a DMCA takedown request, it's important to ensure that your copyrighted work has actually been infringed upon by another individual. 


Review the content being shared without your consent and consult an attorney if necessary to determine if any of your copyrighted material is being misrepresented or used in a manner that violates copyright or other forms of intellectual property protection.


Compile a list of specifics regarding the infringement.


It's important to be as detailed as possible when identifying copyright infringement. Provide a list of all URLs, the Exact location or area of the infringement, and content titles or brief descriptions that detail which exact portion of your material was violated. 


If you encounter multiple instances of copyright infringement, provide multiple URLs and details of each occurrence. 


Additionally, include a statement confirming that the violation is indeed from unauthorized use of your copyrighted material.


Submit Your DMCA Complaint.


After you have compiled all the necessary information, file your complaint with a hosting service or search engine. DMCA provides a free tool that can submit complaints to major hosting providers like Yahoo!, Bing, Google, and YouTube, as well as multiple other websites. However, it’s recommended to do this manually so that you can ensure your complaint is fully addressed. 


Additionally, if your case needs further investigation, you will be able to closely track the proceedings. 


Upload all of the required information on their respective websites and wait for a response from the copyright violator or website operator/host.


How to file a Google DMCA


  1. You will need to select if this is a Google search result or an image.
  2. Select what Google product the copyright information is appearing on. 
  3. Select if this is an image or a search result.
  4. Select if this is a policy (non-legal) violation or a copyright violation. 
  5. Select if this is intellectual property or other legal issues. 


Google will provide a disclaimer that states that the information you report will be sent to Lumen, an independent research project studying online content takedown requests. If your DMCA takedown complaint is approved, it will include the report in its search results. 


Lumen report in Google search results

Include Evidence to Support Your Claim. 


When filing a DMCA complaint, it is important to include all the necessary evidence to support your case. This includes screenshots of where the copyrighted material is being used and other relevant information such as links and URLs. Make sure to provide as much detail as possible. 


Additionally, provide copies or access credentials of your original copyrighted works that were published without authorization in order to help demonstrate that the infringement is genuine. All this will ultimately be used in deciding if a takedown request should be granted by the hosting provider.


evidence of copyright infringement on Google

Keep an Open Line of Communication with the Infringer or Their Website’s Hosting Provider.


Having an open line of communication with the infringing party or their website’s hosting provider is often the most effective way to get a satisfactory resolution. 


Hosting companies may be willing to provide information about the offending website, its users, and other evidence that could help in filing an infringement claim. 


Furthermore, communicating directly with them can be a great way to ensure your DMCA takedown request is taken seriously and acted upon immediately.


Here is an example from Automattic upon receiving a DMCA takedown request on WordPress. 

Automattic DMCA takedown on WordPress

How do I file a DMCA complaint on Twitter?


Reporting copyright infringement can be done via Twitter's Help Center. You can also file a copyright complaint. You can access the Twitter Help Center from your Twitter account if you're logged into twitter.com by clicking on the Help link in the sidebar.


Copyright owners may notify Twitter under the DMCA if they believe that a user is violating their copyright. Twitter will remove identified material upon receipt of a valid DMCA notification. Twitter has a repeat copyright violation policy that will suspend repeat violator accounts.


What information do you need to process a copyright complaint on Twitter?


To submit a notice of claimed copyright infringement, you will need to provide us with the following information:


  1. A physical or electronic signature (typing your full name will suffice) of the copyright owner or a person authorized to act on their behalf;
  2. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed (e.g., a link to your original work or clear description of the materials allegedly being infringed upon);
  3. Identification of the infringing material and information reasonably sufficient to permit Twitter to locate the material on our website or services;
  4. Your contact information, including your address, telephone number, and email address;
  5. A statement that you have a good faith belief that the use of the material in the manner asserted is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
  6. A statement that the information in the complaint is accurate, and, under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.

Twitter DMCA takedown request

How do I file a copyright claim on YouTube?


Fill out the YouTube web form to send a copyright request. This is the fastest and easiest way to do so. Requests should be submitted by the copyright owner, or an agent authorized to act for the owner. False claims will be dismissed and violators may be prosecuted. Even for first-time offenders criminal penalties can be severe: up to $250,000 in monetary fines and five-year imprisonment.


YouTube only allows you to upload your content. This is the best way to avoid copyright infringements and strikes. You won't need to worry about copyright claims if you only use music or videos you created.


A DMCA notice on YouTube counts as one strike against your entire YouTube account. Your videos and channels will be permanently deleted if you receive more than three strikes in a 90-day time period.


How do I file a DMCA on Facebook?


You can report intellectual property infringements by visiting Facebook's form. You have the option to choose between trademark and copyright infringement. Reporting a violation is only permitted to the owner of intellectual property rights or their legal representative.


Facebook will review your case after you have submitted a copyright claim. Facebook will remove the link, photo, or video infringing your copyright claim if you have provided sufficient evidence.


The alleged infringer can then appeal the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or contact you to send a counter-notice. It is not clear whether the recipient has a specific number of days to counter.


DMCA Takedown Service


Whether you are a business or a content creator, don’t let your work be copied or used against you. Follow the steps outlined in this article to start fighting back against stolen content. You can protect yourself against piracy with help from a professional DMCA takedown service. 


NewReputation has helped thousands of people take down their stolen content from the internet. We offer transparent pricing and fast results. To speak to an advisor and receive a free consultation, call us today at 855-750-0583.

DMCA takedown service


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