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Protect your Forum D.M.C.A.

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Posted (edited)

I've posted about this before, however with the proliferation of take down notices/settlement notices, I wanted to mention it again.

We recently received yet another "Settlement Communication" from a law firm concerning a single image that a user posted on our forum back in 2009.  In order to settle the "infringement," for the single image posted, they'd happily accept $750.00.  We never settle these, rather fight them out.  For some, however it's cheaper to settle rather than hire an attorney, etc.  The problem is, they will map out your forum looking for every user posted image and even linked content. Grrrrr.

Here's how you can better protect yourself - don't take it as legal or sound legal advice, just novice advice.

1. Go to the DMCA on Copyright.gov HERE and register an agent - it could be you or anyone you designate.  Here's the link to register and list all of your websites.  It only takes a few minutes and costs $6.00.  This seems to be a principal requirement for safe harbor protection.  One note, you MUST use a physical street address in your filing and NOT a P.O. box, etc.

(i) The full legal name and physical street address of the service provider. Related or affiliated service providers that are separate legal entities (e.g., corporate parents and subsidiaries) are considered separate service providers, and each must have its own separate designation. ( 37 C.F.R. § 201.38)

In this fashion, attorneys, etc. can find you and send you a take down notice for infringing material.

2. On your forum, in an easy to find place, create a page/post to your DMCA statement.  IPS makes it easy to create a link in the menu.  You can google how to create a DMCA Safe Harbor statement via google.


These are the basic steps in which we use to protect our websites from copyright/trademark legal trolls.

More reading:





Edited by jackflash

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