The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
The DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1998 to deal with copyright infringement by electronic means, particularly over the Internet.
Giganews and the DMCA
From the inception of the DMCA, Giganews has taken and continues to take the DMCA seriously. Giganews registered with the U.S. Copyright Office in 1998 as required by law, and continues to keep the registration information current. You can find our registered DMCA agent by browsing the Directory of Service Provider Agents or by going directly to Giganews’ registration PDF.
Below you will find guidance for drafting and submitting a notification to Giganews which will help ensure that your Notice is handled as promptly as possible. The information we share below has been honed through years of experience in working DMCA Notices. It doesn’t matter whether you are a big corporation with tons of copyrighted materials or the little guy with a single copyrighted work, your copyright is important to us, and we will do what is required to protect your copyrights under the DMCA.
Who can submit a DMCA Notice?
The DMCA only allows the copyright holder or a legally authorized agent of the copyright holder to legally submit DMCA Notices. If you are neither the copyright holder, nor the authorized agent thereof, and you have information on what you believe to be a copyrighted work found on our service, please direct your findings to the copyright holder. Legally, under the DMCA, only the copyright holder can identify their property and affirm under the penalty of perjury that it should be taken down.
What information do we need in a DMCA Notice?
A properly formatted DMCA Notice will adhere to the guidelines and principals established by the DMCA itself. The necessary elements of a properly formed DMCA Notice are:
- Clear identification of the person or entity submitting the DMCA Notice.
- Clearly stated relationship to the copyright holder (self or authorized agent).
- Message-IDs for all articles the DMCA Notice is requesting Giganews take down. Please keep in mind some files are large enough to be posted across several Usenet articles; these are called multi-part posts. Be certain to identify by Message-ID all articles you want taken down.
- Clear statement, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that you are copyright holder, or authorized to act on behalf of the copyright holder.
- A “physical or electronic signature” of an authorized person to act on behalf of the owner. This is fulfilled by a name and a physical address that the authorized individual can be contacted should someone wish to contest your notification.
- While not legally required by the DMCA, including “copyright violation” in the subject line of your email will flag your DMCA Notice and bypass spam categorization.
- Submit the Notice to [email protected], the email address we have registered with the Copyright office pursuant to Section 512(c) of the Copyright Act.
Feel free to view this sample of a well formed DMCA Notice, and use it as a template for generating your own DMCA Notice should the need arise.
I’m a copyright holder, how do I protect my copyrighted works?
The Internet is a complex place. There are many protocols and applications other than the web, and new methods of sharing information are created all the time. It would be nearly impossible for all but the most technically savvy persons to keep up with the ways the Internet can be used for sharing information. We do not believe technological progress on the Internet is a bad thing; it is merely a reality of the Internet.
Because of the ever-changing environment, and the complexity of policing the Internet at large for copyrighted materials, new businesses have formed to do exactly this job in the digital world on behalf of copyright holders. These online copyright and brand protecting companies have developed systems to monitor the Internet-at-large, and they have a vested interest to remain current with new Internet technologies for their customers. To best protect yourselves from infringement on the Internet, we recommend copyright holders engage such a company.
What will Giganews do with a proper Notice?
Once we have proper identification of the infringing material through the Message-IDs, and a well formed DMCA Notice, we will remove all identified infringing material forthwith. In the process of removing the material, we will analyze each article to determine if it was posted by a Giganews customer, and if it was so posted we will initiate our “Two Strikes and You’re Out Policy” for that customer. Lastly, we will respond via email to your Notice informing you that we have deleted the materials you have identified.
What is Giganews’ “Two Strikes and You’re Out Policy”?
The DMCA requires that we maintain “a policy that provides for the termination in appropriate circumstances of subscribers and account holders of [our] system or network who are repeat infringers”. Since the DMCA does not provide a definition for “repeat”, Giganews has defined “repeat infringers” to be the minimum definition possible — two incidents.
Upon receiving a valid DMCA Notice for infringing materials posted by a Giganews subscriber, we will email a copy of our “One-time Notice of Copyright Infringement” to that subscriber, and temporarily suspend the posting privileges of that subscriber. Posting privileges are not restored to a subscriber until we receive clear affirmation that future infringements will not occur. When a second DMCA Notice is received for an infringing article posted after the clear affirmation is received, we will, at the sole discretion of Giganews, terminate the account or place a ban on posting from the account.