DMCA: how to protect the copyright of digital content in USA? - BRANDPOL

DMCA: how to protect the copyright of digital content in USA?

31 May 2022
21 min to read
DMCA: how to protect the copyright of digital content in USA?

Copyright on intellectual property is one of the most ephemeral in the law environment, as it is close to the law on ideas, which, as known, are not protected by law. However, lots of financial, marketing, technical and other resources are put into intellectual property. That is what determines the leader on the market, gives an advantage, clients, trendsetters and many more.

When the idea is realized and the result of intellectual activity is registered on WIPO, in the case of plagiarism or unlawful usage of object of intellectual property there is a way of gaining justice and clearing the Internet market from the violators. DMCA are the four magical letters, which will help the copyright holders in the USA.

What is DMCA?

Starting with 28 October 1998 in USA, DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) is in place- the law about copyright in the digital era, which adds to the USA law with directives, taking into account modern technical achievements in the area of copying and spreading of information.

DMCA does two functions: protection from going around + tracking and notifying. The first function puts liability for going around encryption, and the second function allows to quickly delete the online content, violating the unique right on intellectual property, without the need to go to court. If on either online resource the illegal copyright usage is detected, the copyright holder sends the Takedown Notice to the service provider, where he describes in detail his concerns and confirms that has viable reasons to believe that content was plagiarized. The service provider, in turn, upon receiving such a notice, deletes the content and keeps the reserve copy or hides the content from the search results on the Internet.

Execution of DMCA is compulsory for all hosting providers in USA, however they are free from responsibility of holding illegal content: the aim of the hosting is to provide elimination of the violation of the unique content right and tell about that to the copyright holder.

Which intellectual property objects can be protected from illegal use?

  • Software
  • Songs
  • Computer games
  • Literature, articles, scientific articles
  • Video content (films, clips, blogs, etc.)
  • Images (including graphic trademark)

Which violations can be dealt with using DMCA?

  • Spreading copies of films, series and other video materials on torrent-trackers;
  • Streaming films, series and other video materials on video hosting and illegal online cinemas;
  • Spread of copies of literature;
  • Spread of copies of images;
  • Spread of copies of music compositions;
  • Personality copy
  • And other kinds of piracy and plagiarism

In which cases does DMCA not work?

DMCA implies exceptions from the rules and appeals to the term of “responsible use” (“fair use”). For example, if the copyright object is copied for comment or critique, that cannot be eliminated by DMCA, same as live feeds, learning programs and research. Also, parody creator, the aim of which, is to make fun of the original work, also does not carry responsibility for copyright violation.

Also, DMCA only acts in the jurisdiction of USA. In other countries the appeals on copyright violations are processed by the local laws or WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). As a matter of fact, WIPO is more affective in taking away domain names, rather than blocking content. Therefore, if the violator’s website or his hosting provider are physically located outside USA, they do not have to follow DMCA.

How to do a complaint on violation of copyright (on the example of Google)?

Google has an official DMCA form. Website pages or websites, which are violating copyright can be deleted from Google search results by completing this form. We will go through it step-by-step:

  1. Firstly, you have to choose a section or Google app, which has the content violating copyright. It can be Google search results, Youtube, Google Play, Google Images and others.
  2. Then choose the type of violation- harmful software/fishing, showing deleted materials in the search results, personal data, intellectual property or any other law problem. We will have a look at the DMCA form using intellectual property violation as an example.
  3. Choose the specific type of violation: copyright violation, appilation, going around security settings, fake products or trademark. For this example we will use the first example from the list.
  4. Then, you should state, if you are the copyright owner or his official representative:
  5. Choose the category: visual content or other
  6. When choosing any category after confirming that you are the owner of the content, you are ofered to make a request. In it you should name and describe the content protected by copyright, where it can be found, where it was placed with the confirmation from the copyright owner and the URL of the content, which should be deleted. Also you should put down your contact information, copyright owner, who you represent or who you are, confirm the rightfulness of the claims and leave a digital signature ( in this case that will be your name and surname).

The implications of eliminating violations on the Internet

You should know that, neither laws, nor Google do not set any specific dates, when the actions will be done to eliminate the violation. This means, that the owner always needs to follow the process, or worse, the absence of progress. Therefore, regardless of the effectiveness of this tool, companies, who decide to fight the violators, spend a lot of time and energy on filling in the requests, sending them and communication with the hosting or the search engine. Sometimes, in order to get the result, this process needs to be done 3-4 times.

In order to make the process of copyright protection easier for the owners, there are companies like BRANDPOL. Thanks to our 12-year experience in that sphere, we are able to quickly get into the situation and get the results just as quickly in 85% of the cases. We give a financial guarantee of the result. In the cases, when the violators are not stopping their activity without the involvement of the court, we go onto the work of collecting data and writing the application to solve the case in the court.

If you are the copyright holder and you came across illegal usage of your intellectual property, BRANDPOL will be happy to cooperate with you.


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