Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Battle Copyright Infringement: the DMCA Takedown Notice

I am still patiently waiting for Michael Lacey, the founder of the Payne Award for ethics in journalism winning Phoenix New Times to respond to my copyright infringement notice. I am not waiting idly by twiddling my thumbs or picking my nose. I am very busy exploring my legal options. Being a member of the National Press Photographers’ Association gives me the benefit of free legal advice. My gift of filling out forms and completing documents has also become most useful here.

My NPPA membership has cool benefits -free legal advice

Dear Mr. Hughes,

I would hope that the Phoenix New Times honors your take down request. I am not sure what you wrote but at the very least you need to tell them to take this picture off their site. Unfortunately, the damage has already been done if the image was picked up and posted elsewhere. As for monetary damages you will have to wait and see what they say. As I previously mentioned - the only way to recover for copyright infringement is through a federal lawsuit.
Good luck and please keep me updated.
Thank you.
Very truly yours,
Mickey H. Osterreicher, Esq.
69 Delaware Avenue
Suite 500
Buffalo, NY 14202

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

This allows you, as the copyright holder, to write letters to the ISP of the websites and ask that they take the images down. This "take-down" notice is very effective at getting the images off of the offending websites. But there are certain specific requirements to a take-down notice.

Enacted in 1998, the DMCA implemented treaties signed at the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Geneva conference. It addresses many issues, one of which affects photographers directly in this situation. The DMCA states that while an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is not liable for transmitting information that may infringe a copyright, the ISP must remove materials from users’ websites that appear to constitute copyright infringement after it receives proper notice.

Q. How do you find the hosting ISP?

WHOIS information for :

Registrant: Village Voice Media
Registered through:, Inc.

Domain servers in listed order:

This procedure was almost too easy. It was like “following the bouncing ball”. I simply drafted a letter to: All I did was “fill in the blanks” using the same “copy and paste” techniques today’s ethical journalists seem to enjoy using on the form letter template and I was ready to send.

To the ISP Hosting Company:

This letter is official notification under the provisions of Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) to effect removal of the above-reported infringements. I request that you immediately issue a cancellation message as specified in RFC 1036 for the specified postings and prevent the infringer, who is identified by its web address, from posting the infringing photographs to your servers in the future. Please be advised that law requires you, as a service provider, to “expeditiously remove or disable access to” the infringing photographs upon receiving this notice. Noncompliance may result in a loss of immunity for liability under the DMCA.

I have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of here s not authorized by me, the copyright holder, or the law. The information provided here is accurate to the best of my knowledge. I swear under penalty of perjury that I am the copyright holder.
Please send me at the address noted below a prompt response indicating the actions you have taken to resolve this matter.

Harry L. Hughes III
I will give the Phoenix New Times until the end of the year to voluntarily remove the infringed content before launching this protection tool. Until then, Happy New Year!!!
"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear." --Harry S. Truman

1 comment:

  1. So did they ever take it down? Funny, the S3attle W33kly pulled the same thing with 24 uses of my photos.

    Thank you for providing the email address that I needed to send the DMCA takedown notice to.

    I have also hired a lawyer. They messed with the wrong photographer.