Copyright infringement is illegal and very serious. If you have ever used a copyrighted image or music without permission from the rights holder, then you have committed copyright infringement.
If you are a content creator, then this should be something that concerns you greatly because it could hurt your reputation as well as your business. You need to know what it means when someone uses your work without permission and how to protect yourself against such infringements.
If you've experienced copyright infringement, you may be wondering if you should file a DMCA takedown.
The short answer is yes! If you believe that someone has used your intellectual property without your permission, filing a DMCA takedown is the best way to protect yourself and your reputation.
DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which was passed in 1998 to help combat online piracy. It's important to note that this act covers more than just music and movies—it also applies to software, books, photos, and other forms of copyrighted media.
What is a DMCA Takedown?
A DMCA takedown is a process of sending a DMCA notice to the host of a website that is violating your copyright. The notice will inform them of their violation and request that they remove the content immediately. A DMCA takedown is also referred to as a copyright infringement notice, which is why we'll be using these terms interchangeably throughout this article.
One of the very first examples of a DMCA takedown in action came right after the passing of this act. In 1998, celebrated artist and pop icon Prince filed a lawsuit against YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley to have a video removed in which a toddler danced to one of his songs playing in the background. The case was settled out of court and the video remained on YouTube. But the legal precedent it set is still felt today, particularly in the way YouTube handles copyright claims.
Since that first experience, there have been many more takedown notices sent to sites like YouTube and others, which is why content creators cannot play copyrighted music in the background of their unboxing videos or makeup tutorials.
What Constitutes Copyright Infringement?
Copyright infringement occurs when someone uses or distributes copyrighted material without the owner's permission. Copyright laws protect original works of authorship, such as literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, both published and unpublished. Copyright law protects against copying or use of protected work without permission from the owner.
To file a DMCA takedown notice with Google, you must have a good faith belief that the material in question is infringing upon your copyright. In addition, you must be able to identify which specific URLs are infringing on your content.
You must also be able to provide a physical address for the individual who posted the content and the contact information for the person who owns that website (if different than the poster). It's important to note that a DMCA takedown notice only applies to search engine results; it does not remove any infringing material from the websites themselves.
Examples of online copyright infringement are:
- Recording a movie in a theater and posting it online, or downloading music and movies without paying for them.
- Using a photographer’s photographs without asking permission, or giving them credit
- Using someone else's ideas, posting a quote, or publishing a story as your own.
- Using a popular song in your video or advertisement without permission
- Using someone else’s software code, without giving credit to the creator
The Consequences of Copyright Infringement
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides penalties for online copyright infringement. Under the DMCA, copyright owners can send a takedown notice to an ISP or service provider who hosts material that infringes on their copyright. If the initial notice is not effective at stopping the infringement, a follow-up notice can be sent to force the removal of the material from the Internet entirely.
Copyright Infringement is a Controversial Subject.
If someone finds something you've created and makes it available for sale or download without your permission, then they are violating your copyright — which gives you certain rights over what people can do with your work.
But there's a flip side: If someone copies something that belongs to you, they may be infringing on another person's rights.
That's why we encourage everyone to be careful when using copyrighted material in their marketing efforts. Make sure you have permission to use the content and provide attribution where appropriate.
If you see someone using your copyrighted material without permission, don't hesitate to file a DMCA takedown request with Google.
How to de-index a web page from the Google Search by submitting a DMCA notice?
You can submit a DMCA with Google to notify them that you believe your copyrighted material has been posted on their website without permission. The DMCA requires Google to remove the infringing content within 24 hours of receiving the notice from the Google Search or any other Google websites.
Please go to https://support.google.com/legal/troubleshooter/1114905 and manually submit your DMCA for free.
Make sure it includes the following:
- The name of the copyrighted work (e.g., your book title)
- Identification of the material you believe infringes your copyright (e.g., specific URLs that contain your copyrighted material)
- 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 law
- A statement that the information in your notice is accurate and that you are the rights holder or are authorized to act on behalf of the rights holder
In most cases, DMCA takedown requests are successful, though it's worth noting that Google may not always be quick. It varies on a case-by-case basis, but once you file a DMCA notice, you can feel relatively confident that the infringing material will be removed. For many people, the concept of copyright infringement is something that is not taken seriously. They feel that if they are only using the work for personal use, then it does not matter if they are violating someone else's copyright laws. This is simply not true and by law websites such as Google or hosting providers need to follow the Digital Millennium Copyright act.