Do Takedown Notices Work?

Posted on 1/30/2017 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The U.S. Copyright Office is trying to determine the impact and effectiveness of safe harbor provisions contained in Section 512 of the Digital Millennial Copyright Act (DMCA). The safe harbor offers qualified Internet Service Providers (ISPs) immunity from monetary damages for hosting infringing content if the ISP expeditiously removes the content after receiving a proper notice.

The Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA) is actively participating in this study and recommends that all DMLA members, and the photographers they represent, respond to this survey if they have ever used the “notice and take down” procedure. It would also be useful and valuable for photographers who want to protect their copyright, but have never used the take down procedure, to also respond to this survey.

The Copyright Office is trying to determine how difficult it is to use the procedure, and how successful it is in having infringing content removed. The multiple choice survey should not take long to complete. The larger the response pool the more likely it will bring about needed changes in the copyright law. Deadline for completion is February 17, 2017.

The following are the survey questions.

1. Have you (or someone on your behalf) ever monitored the Internet for copyright infringement of your work? (Check one)

If you answered no, why don’t you monitor the Internet for infringing copies of your work? (Check all that apply)

If yes, how do you monitor for infringement of your work online? (Check all that apply)

If you monitor on your own, what methods or tools do you use? (Check all that apply)

If you monitor on your own, how much time do you spend each week? (Check one)

If you answered yes to monitoring, have you (or someone on your behalf) ever discovered infringing copies of your work online? (Check one)

On which websites or platforms have you found infringing copies of your work? (List no more than 5)

Have you (or someone on your behalf) ever sent a notice asking a website or platform to take down an infringing copy of your work? (Check one)

If no, why not? (Check all that apply)

If you did send a takedown notice, what was the outcome? (Check one)

How long does it usually take for the website/platform to respond? (Check one)

Have you ever received a counter-notice in response to a takedown notice?  A counter-notice could be filed if someone challenges your ownership of the copyright or believes their use is lawful (e.g., fair use). (Check one)

If yes, what did you do in response to the counter-notice? (Check one)

Have you experienced any negative repercussions (for example, threats, harassment, intimidation) as a result of filing a takedown notice? (Check one)

Do you believe the notice-and-takedown system is effective in protecting the rights of creators and addressing online copyright infringement? (Check one)

How does online infringement affect your ability/willingness to create new works? (Check one)

What kind of creator are you? (Check all that apply)

Copyright © 2017 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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