Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Take Down That Image
It’s a good idea to get some perspective before you issue a threatening DMCA takedown notice
Still, the exchange between the McCain campaign and YouTube highlights how effective DMCA takedown notices can be when seeking to prevent continued infringement of your work. Since many online providers don’t want to risk losing the DMCA’s safe harbor, the DMCA takedown notice can be a quick and inexpensive vehicle for enforcing your copyrights.
|Figure 2: The Copyright Office’s website; the list of online providers with designated agents may be found under the “Online Service Providers” link. |
Step 1: Locate the designated agent
Not only is a DMCA takedown notice a highly effective way to enforce your copyrights and stop infringement, it’s also a relatively inexpensive way to police your copyrights. However, what many photographers fail to realize is how simple it is to prepare your own DMCA takedown notice.
The first step, after finding the infringement, is to determine whether the online provider has registered with the Copyright Office. You can visit the Copyright Office online at www.copyright.gov and select the “Online Service Providers” link (Figure 2).
Assume that you’ve discovered that someone copied one of your images without authorization and posted it on the popular social networking site, Facebook. Scrolling through the list of online providers with a designated agent, you’d eventually locate the reference to Facebook, Inc., which, in turn, will give you access to an Adobe Acrobat document containing the agent designation.
While identifying the designated agent for the more popular social networking sites is relatively easy—in fact, some online providers have information regarding DMCA notices available directly on their websites, saving you the time to visit the Copyright Office’s website—some instances of infringement may require extra digging in order to determine whether the online provider has a designated agent. For instances such as these, you’ll need to make a few stops at some other websites before looking up the designated agent at the Copyright Office.
Figure 3: If you have to write a letter, keep it short, polite and to the point. The language in this example is ideal.
Once you have the IP address, you’ll need to visit the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) at www.arin.net. On the main ARIN web page, you’ll find a unique “Search WHOIS” tool that will permit you to search based upon the IP address. Plugging in the IP address of 188.8.131.52 and searching returns the registration information for the online provider to whom the IP address has been assigned. In this case, the company is GoDaddy.com, Inc. (Figure 4).
Having discovered that GoDaddy is the online provider, you can now visit the Copyright Office website and look for the agent designation for GoDaddy (Figure 5).
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