Salt Lake City, UT asked in Copyright for Utah

Q: With DMCA Notices, must I give the exact link to where the infringing material is or can it be a link where it may be?

I have been harassed by a troll website for the past few years and they continue to post my copyrighted works, namely: a book and a song. A few days ago, I sent the owner of the site a DMCA take down notice with all of the requirements for take down. I was informed by others that my copyrighted materials were on there. Because there are so many threads on that site of me, I couldn’t locate the exact location of it, but gave him the link that I’m featured in and told him it would be in there.

My understanding of 17 USC 512(3) and its elements is that I do not need the exact location, just enough information for him to investigate, especially point 3 of the statute: “(iii) 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.” Nothing in that statute says exact location.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Griffin Klema
Griffin Klema
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Tampa, FL

A: While it's best to provide a specific URL for avoiding arguments about sufficiency of a DMCA notice, you are correct, there is some leeway that a copyright owner has in providing a notice. However, if you are unable to identify the precise location, that itself is indicative that the website owner may face the same challenges. For that reason, I would strongly recommend providing as much specific information as you can in a DMCA takedown notice. See also 17 USC 512(c)(3)(B). Generally results in awarding prevailing party attorney's fees, many lawyers may be willing to take your case. I strongly recommend you consult with an intellectual property trial attorney to evaluate whether your DMCA notice was sufficient, and whether to pursue a lawsuit against the website.

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