Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Writer's Alphabet - D is for DMCA

D is for DMCA Take-Down Notice

DMCA stands for Digital Millenium Copyright Act.  This piece of legislature covers all art in it's original format and protects it's author from theft.  That means just like a song, a story can be stolen.  Remember Napster, the file-sharing website that got shut down?  They were in violation of the DMCA.  And the music industry roared and they disappeared.

Unfortunately, story pirates abound on the internet.  Which sucks.  You write a story, a damn good story, and your publisher turns it into an ebook, making it digitally available on the world-wide web. Its the worldwide part that will kill you.  Because some asshat in Bangladesh or Czechoslovakia will buy one copy of your book, then download it illegally on their site.  They will then make it available to a shit-ton of other asshats, who will download it themselves and soon, your book has been downloaded sixteen thousand times and you will never see a penny of the royalty because there wasn't one dime paid of it. Asshats.

So, the following is a very important document for you.  It is called the DMCA Take-Down Notice and it should be sent to every pirate site you find sharing your books.  Under federal law, they then have to remove your book from their site.  I have used this notice, or a version of it, and have even received responses with the asshats apologizing for posting my work without permission.  Not one has ever ignored me.  So far, anyway.  Use this in good health, my writer friends.

My name is INSERT NAME and I am the INSERT TITLE of INSERT COMPANY NAME.  A website that your company hosts (according to WHOIS information) is infringing on at least one copyright owned by me or my company.
The unauthorized and infringing copy can be found at:
This letter is official notification under Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (”DMCA”), and I seek the removal of the aforementioned infringing material from your servers. I request that you immediately notify the infringer of this notice and inform them of their duty to remove the infringing material immediately, and notify them to cease any further posting of infringing material to your server in the future.
Please also be advised that law requires you, as a service provider, to remove or disable access to the infringing materials upon receiving this notice. Under US law a service provider, such as yourself, enjoys immunity from a copyright lawsuit provided that you act with deliberate speed to investigate and rectify ongoing copyright infringement. If service providers do not investigate and remove or disable the infringing material this immunity is lost. Therefore, in order for you to remain immune from a copyright infringement action you will need to investigate and ultimately remove or otherwise disable the infringing material from your servers with all due speed should the direct infringer, your client, not comply immediately.
I am providing this notice in good faith and with the reasonable belief that rights me or my company owns are being infringed. Under penalty of perjury I certify that the information contained in the notification is both true and accurate, and I have the authority to act as the owner of the copyright(s) involved.
Should you wish to discuss this with me please contact me directly.
Thank you.

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