DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act): Everything You Need to Know

Since the internet began, people have uploaded and published over a trillion gigabytes of digital content that includes music, games, movies, and much more. The rapid advancements in the digital age and the internet have undoubtedly served content creators and publishers with lots of opportunities to make profits and revenue but along with challenges such as violation of their data online. Indeed, Copyright Infringement is one of the biggest challenges that the digital world faces in the present era. To stop the continuous increase in widespread unlawful access to copyrighted materials observed in the 1990s, the US government put a step and came up with a law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Abbreviated as DMCA, this law is a result of the teamwork of legislators, media firms, and consumer lawyers, and enacted by the US Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1998. The law was made on request of many organizations requested for a legal process by which holder of Copyright Website, content, or image could assert their rights to prevent the illegal use of their media. Apart from providing the copyright holders with these facilities, DMCA aims to maintain a balance between the interests of original owners and those who want to purchase the copyrighted materials. It also takes care of penalties to be put on offenders who intentionally violate any Intellectual Property (IP).

DMCA Takedown Notice

Resting as the main component of DMCA law, DMCA takedown notice is an official notification to inform the firm, search engine, web host, or internet service provider (ISP) that they are using copyrighted material. As, in the legal sense, such use is unlawful and leads to copyright infringement, the site or company who receives this notice should immediately take down the specific material. In case they avoid doing so, the ISP could forcefully remove the copyrighted content. You can send the DMCA notice or request for the following types of copyright content:

  • Videos,
  • Digital software,
  • Artwork, images, photos,
  • Posts on your official websites,
  • Songs, music, and almost every kind of audio files,
  • Written texts, including books, poetry, articles, blogs, etc.

Registration of Work Isn’t Necessary

When it comes to write or send a DMCA notice, it is not mandatory to register your work. Any unique content becomes its owner’s IP as soon as he/she creates it. And, as the original owner holds the copyright to it from the moment of its creation, he/she can send a DMCA notice in regards to it without bothering about Copyright Registration. DMCA takedown request is one of the politest ways to prevent infringement of any unregistered material, but don’t forget that if you want to go for a copyright infringement lawsuit, then it is essential to register your content with the copyright office.

Procedure to Create DMCA Notice

As per the law, there is no official DMCA takedown notice form or template that copyright owners are needed to use. However, to make the requests valid, each plaintiff (sender of the notice) must consider including certain specifications. Besides providing info that showcases the copyright infringement, the notice should include:

  • All the details related to the content that’s being infringed
  • A statement that the sender has a good faith that the party on the receiving end has infringed his/her content
  • A statement that under penalty of perjury, every detail provided in the takedown notice is precise
  • Sender’s contact information
  • Sender’s physical or electronic signature

Don’t Worry If You Receive a DMCA Takedown Notice

Considering the legal standing, receiving a DMCA takedown notice undoubtedly sounds a bit scary, but being worried or scared is not at all a solution. What you should do in such cases is first of all calm down and be honest to yourself. After that, think whether or not you infringed the copyrighted material intentionally. Usually, there are high possibilities that you didn’t steal or post the content intentionally. Nevertheless, if you find yourself guilty of infringing the material, then rectifying your mistake will be the best solution. Be quick to locate and take down the violated content as soon as you could. In some cases where you host multiple websites with various people posting and sharing content, there are probabilities that you receive the notice as the next logical person to contact while the infringement was committed by any of those people. Other likelihoods could be that you are using the copyrighted content cautiously within the boundaries of Fair Use. If that’s so, then contact the sender of the notice and share the details of how you used his/her content. It will help you in sorting the issue with ease.


Nowadays, when powerful tools like DMCA are here to help you fight back the infringers, there is no need to stand like helpless in situations when they steal or use your copyrighted content. When these tools have been designed to serve you, then why not utilize them and extract the benefits that you deserve. From today onwards, be active and understand the rights you hold over your copyrighted content and ways to utilize them in the best possible manner. In the case of any query, feel free to contact an experienced IP Attorney. You can also contact an Intellectual Property Law Firm with good experience in rendering services related to the IP industry. For more visit:

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