What Is DMCA And Does It Apply To My Business?
If you are more or less aware of digital trends and developments, you have probably heard about the war that Taylor Swift declared on YouTube. This is one of the most prominent examples of a DMCA claim and its consequences.
To get a better idea of how DMCA applies to your business, it’s important to take a look at the definition and the current DMCA laws.
What is the DMCA: A Quick Overview
DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Enacted by Congress in 1998, the act was one of the biggest modifications to the US Copyright Act. Such changes were needed to protect intellectual property (copyright) in the face of new interactions stemming from the use of internet-based communication channels.
Having a DMCA policy on one’s website is a really good idea. Very often, it’s not featured individually but rather included in the website’s terms and conditions. (See here for questions about Website Terms and Conditions) The clause outlines how the company will respond to take-down notices for the removal of copyrighted material from the website.
Standard DMCA policies provide information about what a copyright infringement is, how a claim can be filed in the case of a DMCA violation, and what information a claim should include.
Protecting Your Own Copyrighted Work:
When looking at what a DMCA is, it’s also important to point out that it protects your intellectual property against copyright infringement. If you discover that somebody has been using your content without permission, you can file a DMCA claim. A DMCA notice needs to be filled out correctly in order to be valid. DMCA law suggests that the notice should feature the following elements:
- The physical or electronic signature of the copyright holder
- Identification of the copyrighted work and the infringement that has occurred, as well as the place where the copyrighted work has been published (a website, YouTube video, social media post, etc.)
- The contact information of the copyright holder
- A statement on behalf of the copyright holder that explains the respective use has not been authorized
- A signed statement that the information included in the DMCA claim is accurate
The Importance of Ensuring DMCA Compliance:
Due to the fact that more and more online platforms allow for user-generated content to be uploaded, DMCA claims are proliferating. A part of the DMCA policy is to offer the platform protection against claims that result from content uploaded by a third party.
Take-down letters can still be sent to website owners for the purpose of removing the copyrighted material. The online platform, however, is exempted from liability whenever there’s no knowledge or intentional abuse that the material was copyrighted by someone else.
Both copyright owners and web service providers can find it difficult to navigate the DMCA clauses. In such instances, a consultation with an experienced legal professional will be of paramount importance. Through a legal consultation, both copyright protection and DMCA exemptions will be explained and understood much better.
If you don’t know how to address copyright issues or how to craft a DMCA clause for your website, get in touch with a lawyer that specializes in intellectual property. A single consultation will be sufficient to answer your most pressing questions.