What is a DMCA takedown?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects technology, devices and/or services that are copyrighted. The act was written to protect IP owners, content hosts and internet service providers.

A DMCA takedown is specifically when content is removed from a website or a platform at the request of the owner of the copyright holder. It is, quite literally, requesting the taking down of infringed content on a site or platform in which the content is in violation of copyright protection. For example, if a photo is being used without permission or not per the requests of the photo’s owner.

According to the DMCA website,

Although the DMCA is part of US Copyright law, a DMCA Takedown does not require the content to be copyrighted in order to process the takedown and for the content to be taken down by the website owner or OSP.

In other words, the fact the content is yours, or in the case of a photo or video the subject is you, can be sufficient enough to request a takedown AND for the content to be taken down.”

A DMCA takedown must include the following (17 usc 512 (c)(3)):

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

Within the video game industry specifically, here is an overview of where to send DMCA takedown notices. Many websites and platforms offer specific contacts for reporting copyright infringement in order to have the content reviewed.