What is a DMCA Notice?

Key Summary: A DMCA Notice is a notice that a person or company can send to another who has been using their copyrighted content without their permission. The notice tells the infringer to take the copyrighted content down, as per the laws of the DMCA.

DMCA stands for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which was passed on October 28, 1998. The act is actually an amendment to the Copyright Act of 1976. While both are technically laws within the United States of America, they are valid if the copyright owner, the copyright right content, or the infringer, stay within that jurisdiction. There are similar laws in other countries as well that help protect copyrights.

DMCA was passed to update the Copyright Act, as the original act focused more on traditional media. With the technological shift to creating, storing, and sharing media online, newer laws needed to be created to address digital media. After all, it is a lot easier to misuse digital content.

It can be extremely disheartening for a content creator who has worked very hard on their content to find it somewhere else and on somebody else’s website when they have not given them consent to use it. It can be even worse to realize that the infringer, i.e. the person misusing the content may even be making a profit over the content; profit that should originally belonging to the content creator. Technically, this content falls under copyright laws which stipulate that the content belong to the content creator and cannot be used without their content.

Now when a scenario like this occurs, there may the little that the content creator may think that they can do. However, there are ways that they can get this resolved. The content creator may want to message and talk to the infringer and ask them to remove the content. There is a slight chance that the infringer might not know that they were infringing on the copyrights of someone else. If that does not help, then the content creator can make use of the DMCA.

Under the DMCA, the content creator can send a takedown notice to get the content removed from the site. This DMCA Notice can be send directly to the infringer, where there might be a chance of it being ignored, or it can be sent to the infringer’s web hosting company or his internet service provider. Once the company receives the DMCA notice, they have to take action, otherwise they can be held responsible. The company will issue a notice to the infringer for them to remove the copyrighted content with a stipulated time or they will forcefully remove the content in question. If the infringer is a repeat offender, then the hosting company might even block them.

Another option to the DMCA notice is for the content creator to hire an attorney and lead a class action suit against the infringer. However, this is a very time consuming, and not to mention expensive option, which is why it is recommended that a DMCA notice be used. If the infringer does not heed the DMCA notice, then the content creator or copyright holder can file a case against them anyway.



Stands for

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Full title

To amend title 17, United States Code, to implement the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty and Performances and Phonograms Treaty, and for other purposes

Also known as

the WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act

Type of

Copyright Law


Protects rights of copyrighted works and their authors.


October 28, 1998


The Copyright Act of 1976

Complies with

The WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty

Takedown Notice

A person can send a takedown notice to someone who is using their copyrighted work without their permission


Refers to the removing of the copyrighted work

Reference: Wikipedia, WhatIS, whoishostingthis, DMCA
Image Courtesy: panitchlaw.com

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