How the Digital Millennium Copyright Act can help you …


I am getting sick you people using my photos with out permission earlier this year I found a way to fight back……. Copyright infringement on the Web is so pervasive that it’s easy to resign yourself to it as a fact of life,something out of your control.When I found one of my photos being used as an album cover for an English recording label I was p*ssed off. OK I know this photo has been stolen 10000000000³ times but it was always used as “avatars” or “look how cool this is”. This was the first case I found of my photos being used for commercial use. I send cease-and-desist e-mail to the infringer, but they just ignored me, which was very frustrating. So I fought back using my friend Google
Dem Bones.. Dem Bones ... Dem Snake Bones

How, What, Who etc

First of all you will need to find your stolen photos, and Google wants to help. You will either need a local copy of your photo or the URL, a bit of internet knowledge (most of which I will try to emplane here), and a lot of patience. The first steep is finding who is using your photos. Google image search has the ability to search for similar photos. You can actually either upload an image or use the URL from an image to search for identical photos on the net.

Click on the small camera and either upload your photo or copy the URL into the search field (tip don’t use a large original file if you are uploading a photo, a small JPG is enough and it saves time). Now google dose its magic and will show you lots of similar photos, but it will also post the sites that have the exact same image. OK now that the easy part is finished you will have to start the tedious part. In my case my photo was used about 54000 time by different bloggers and web sites. I will never be able to get them all taken down so I will have to pick my fights. Any one who is using my photo for commercial use are on the top of my s*it list. And a specific English music distributor was the scum that floated on the top of all the rest. They had used my image as an album cover and then added the titles to several download portals with the album cover art.

  • If they had contacted me I would have sold them the rights to use the image at a reasonable price.
  • I understand they are not a large multi national corporation with a massive budget
  • How would they like it if I placed their MP3 files here for free download
  • If you google the song title my photo is the first hit you get so I wonder how they found my photo

I have now isolated a “prime suspect”. I started my contacting each of the hosting sites stating that telling them I am the copyright holder to the cover art and that I would like it removed. Only 1 answered me and they simply told me to contact my original “prime suspect” as they provided the album art. After a few days of bashing my head against Virtual walls I went back to my friend Google.

I searched around the www for a while looking for what others had done. And I kept finding  you should contact the ISP hosting the site and ask for a “DMCA Takedown”.I am lucky and have a lot of experience in TCP/IP , DNS and Routing so I didn’t have any real problems locating the ISPs of the “prime suspect”. Now my understanding of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is only really any use in the USA but in the EU there is the Copyright Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society and sometimes known as the Information Society Directive or the InfoSoc Directive. Both are basically the same but the EU version has been translated into 14 different languages and drives a hybrid, and the American version drives a V8 pick up trick with a shotgun rack in the back window.




Next I used a “WHO IS” look up service to find the ISP’s hosting the sites. I prepared a word template with all the info in it that was required for a “DMCA Takedown” and sent it to each of the Internet service providers. Most of them had the image taken down within a few hours. The rest eventually took the image down (within a few days). Only one provider refused to take the image down (they were also the owner of the website). They claimed they couldn’t take it down until the “artist” using my photo gave them some replacement artwork.

The fact the the “prime suspect” wouldn’t answer my mails or send them any replacement art just infuriated me so I went back to my friend google, I searched the DJ using my photo as an album cover. That way I found out who his record label was. Once I have the record label I could find other artist from the same label and the name of the label owner.


It was time for some internet terrorism. I spammed all their Facbook pages, I spammed all their youtube channels, and I spammed any where else I could find them, leaving comment like “Hay you took my photo and used it  so I am going to start giving away you music for free on my web site” this kind of pissed several of the DJ and other musicians off (some one was going to steal their work and use it for free AHHHHH they cant to that). A few friends saw what was happening and also commented. After they blocked me I simply logged on with a new user and started all over again. After a few days all of a sudden the album had a new cover. I must admit I turned into a Troll but it felt good to get a result.



The Takedown Notice

Under the DMCA, copyright holders and their agents can demand removal of allegedly infringing content. To do that, they must provide a complete takedown notice. Under the law, this notice must contain the following elements:

1. A physical or electronic signature of a person authorised to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

2. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.

3. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material.

4. Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.

5. A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

6. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

This notice, which must be filed by the copyright holder or an agent working for them, is sent to the service provider’s DMCA agent, which all service providers must appoint and register with the U.S. Copyright Office. Most DMCA filers, use some form of stock letter to help speed the process along.

Once the notice has been received, the host has to first make sure it is a complete notice and then they are to either remove or disable access to the infringing work. This can be done many ways but is usually handled by simply backing up and deleting the allegedly infringing material.

With that done, the host then usually contacts the client involved, who in turn has the opportunity to respond.


How to File a Takedown Notice

If you discover that work you hold the copyright in is being infringed and wish to file a DMCA notice. You can take the following steps to do so.

1. Determine if the work is infringing, consult an attorney if necessary.
2. Take screenshots or otherwise preserve the infringing site, useful if a dispute should arise later.
3. Obtain a stock DMCA notice template and fill it in with the required information.
4. Using a service such as WhoIsHostingThis or Domain Tools, locate the host of the site where the work is located.
5. Look on the host’s site and attempt to locate the contact information for their DMCA agent.
6. Failing that, see if the host has registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and provided the needed information there.
7. If that fails, send the notice to the host’s abuse team.
8. Wait at least 72 hours and ensure that the work has been removed.
9. If unable to secure removal of work (IE: Not a U.S.-based host or otherwise uncooperative), consider filing a notice with each of the major search engines.

If everything goes according to plan, the work should be removed in a a couple of business days. Some hosts respond very quickly, even within the hour, where others make take a little more time. Be patient with your notices and be on the lookout for the work to be removed as not all hosts will send confirmations via email.


Takedowns in Other Countries

The biggest limitatin to the DMCA notice and takedown system is that the DMCA is limited to the U.S. and only applies to Web hosts and search engines located within the country.

However, other nations have adopted very similar systems. The European Union, has the European Directive for Electronic Commerce, which offers a very similar procedure (though implementation differs from country to country). Australia is another nation that has a notice and takedown system.

Other nations, such as India, do not have any safe harbor at all, meaning that there is no formal system for demanding removal of work but hosts are generally cooperative due to the threat of a lawsuit. Still other nations, including Canada, have no notice-and-takedown system but also provide complete safe harbor for Web hosts, meaning there is little way to compel Web hosts to remove content short of a court order.

When filing a takedown notice with an ISP in another country, it is best to check the laws that exist there and ensure that your notice is compliant with their terms.

If you are unsure about what to do in a specific situation, consult an attorney.


2 Responses to 'How the Digital Millennium Copyright Act can help you …'

  1. ropmann says:


    I will do this with the Czech company using a picture of me as a banner on their web side!

  2. Scott says:

    how did it go?

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