Computer screen reading DMCA

Imagine that you watched an episode of “Hell’s Kitchen” involving a hilarious scene of Gordon Ramsey berating a contestant after raw halibut is sent back to the kitchen. You decide that it’s so funny that you want to share that scene on YouTube. Once on YouTube, your clip begins receiving views. Suddenly, your video is removed from YouTube and YouTube emailed you that the owner of the copyrighted material has filed a DMCA Take Down on your video. Due to the Take Down, YouTube has placed a strike on your channel. What do you do now, and do you understand why this happened?

On the other hand, imagine you are an emerging musician who regularly uploads your original music on your own website. You begin making some money off ad revenue, but then you discover that someone else has taken your original music and uploaded it onto YouTube. This copier begins making money off your hard work. What do you do now, and do you understand your rights regarding stopping this copier?

Each of these scenarios revolve around one of the most important internet related laws in the United States: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). If you actively post on the internet, you should know what the DMCA is and how it can affect you.

What is the DMCA?
The DMCA is a United States law that provides safe harbor provisions for service providers who promptly act to remove or block materials that infringe a copyright once the copyright holder gives appropriate notice. A service provider is defined as an entity who transmits, routes, or provides connections for online communications. In other words, a service provider can be a website or phone app.

Why is the DMCA important?
The DMCA intentionally affects internet communication in two major ways:

  1. The DMCA benefits copyright holders by encouraging the service provider to assist in protecting a copyright; and
  2. The DMCA allows the service provider to become immune from copyright infringement if the service provider satisfies the safe harbor provisions.

However, in practice, there can be a lot of issues that result from the DMCA, such as:

  1. A copyright holder who cannot easily provide evidence that the copyright is his/her;
  2. An unresponsive service provider;
  3. An illegitimate claim for copyright protection; and
  4. Fair use situations.

If you find yourself trying to protect your copyright on the internet or you want to know how to respond to a DMCA Takedown notice, then King Law’s team of attorneys in North and South Carolina are here to help you.  Call us today at 888-748-5464 (KING) to schedule a consultation.

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