The Internet opens up things never previously imagined, and that includes widespread online copyright infringement. Someone can take a video, clip, movie, television show, or even an original song and monetize it on YouTube in just a few simple clicks.
What can you do if you find something you made uploaded to a streaming site?
Is it copyright infringement?
Before you do anything, make sure this is actually copyright infringement. First, ensure sure your video has actually been copied. Many websites will embed your original video uploaded to YouTube, and actually directs traffic and ad dollars back to you. Second, make sure you created the entire video. If your video was actually a clip from a movie, there’s a chance you don’t own that video. Third, could the use of your video be protected by fair use? If someone copied a small part of your video, added commentary to it, or even changed it, there’s a chance they can use it under fair use. My favorite example has always been turning a short section of a news clip into a viral song. Here, a small piece of someone’s video was copied and transformed into something completely different. The Copyright Office has a lot of background information on copyright.
What to include in a DMCA takedown notice
- A physical or electronic signature of the owner or their agent;
- Information on your video, usually including the title, the length of the video, a short description of the video, and even a link to a legal copy;
- Information on the infringing copy, including the listed title and URL;
- Your contact information, such as email address, telephone number, and address;
- A statement that you have a a good faith belief that use of your video authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
- A statement that the takedown notice is accurate, under penalty of perjury.