The word Copyright highlighted in blue

Copyright Law Explained

Who to Send a DMCA Takedown Notice to

Takedown notices are sent to service providers. A DMCA takedown notice is not sent to the service provider’s subscriber, user or other person who is ultimately responsible for posted the infringing material. Of course, a copyright owner can send a legal notice to that subscriber or user but it would not be considered to be a DMCA notice and therefore would not need to be compliant with the DMCA. Usually a regular cease and desist letter is sent to the direct infringer by the copyright owner’s lawyer, assuming the identity and contact information of that infringer is known.

To send the takedown notice the copyright owner will need to determine which service provider is hosting the site that is infringing his copyright(s). Sometime this is easy. For example, when the material is a link contained in a Google search or an auction posting on eBay, the service provider is Google and eBay, respectively. However, sometimes identifying the website host can be difficult. When it is not apparent from the site itself who the host is, the host can often be determined by doing what is called a Whois Search.

To continue to learn about the DMCA notice and takedown process and other general copyright laws, join the alliance—it’s free.