Website Copyright (DMCA) Policy
Website Copyright Policy (DMCA) Preparation Form (Coming Soon).
SummaryOnline businesses and websites can use this Website Copyright Policy for allowing users to upload, store, or link to third-party materials, including user-generated content. By using this Website Copyright Policy, site operators effectively designate an agent to receive copyright infringement claims under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Additionally, websites use this Website Copyright Policy to set out related notice and takedown procedures.
Many websites allow users to upload their own material to the website, or to store, cache, or set up links to their own materials. For example, online sites may allow users to take part in social networking features. The website owner or operator (collectively referred to here as the site operator) may, in certain situations, be liable if this content violates a third party’s rights. Third party rights may include copyright and other intellectual property rights.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 provides a safe harbor to protect online “service providers” from copyright infringement liability. Copyright infringement liability can result from certain acts by their users where the service provider meets certain requirements. For example, an infringing video posted by a user on YouTube may meet these requirements. Additionally, an online service provider that allows users to store content on the service provider’s network must:
- Adopt, reasonably implement, and notify its subscribers or account holders of a policy that provides for termination in appropriate circumstances of the accounts of subscribers or account holders who are repeat infringers.
- Accommodate and not interfere with certain technical measures that copyright owners use to identify or protect copyrighted works.
- Receive no financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity.
- Expeditiously remove or disable access to the infringing material upon proper notification or otherwise on becoming aware of the infringement.
- Designate an agent to receive notices of copyright infringement claims from copyright owners (also known as DMCA takedown notices) and register the agent’s name and contact information with the US Copyright Office.
In addition, if the service provider follows certain specified procedures concerning DMCA takedown notices and counter notifications in connection with the good faith removal of (or disabling access to) allegedly infringing material, the DMCA protects the service provider from liability in the event that the material is ultimately determined to be non-infringing.
A site operator seeking to take advantage of the DMCA safe harbor for material posted or stored on the site by a user typically posts a copyright policy on its site to:
- Identify and provide contact information for its designated agent to receive DMCA notices.
- Advise users of its policy to terminate repeat infringers.
- Disclose additional information about its DMCA notice and takedown procedures.
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