The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. Passed on October 12, 1998, by a unanimous vote in the United States Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 28, 1998, the DMCA amended Title 17 of the United States Code to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability of the providers of on-line services for copyright infringement by their users.
The DMCA's principal innovation in the field of copyright, the exemption from direct and indirect liability of internet service providers and other intermediaries, was adopted by the European Union in the Electronic Commerce Directive 2000. The Copyright Directive 2001 implemented the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty in the EU.
Title I: WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act[edit source | editbeta]
DMCA Title I, the WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act, amends U.S. copyright law to comply with the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, adopted at the WIPO Diplomatic Conference in December 1996. The treaties have two major portions. One portion includes works covered by several treaties in U.S. copy prevention laws and gave the title its name. For further analysis of this portion of the Act and of cases under it, see WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act.
The second portion is often known as the DMCA anti-circumvention provisions. These provisions changed the remedies for the circumvention of copy-prevention systems (also called "technical protection measures") and required that all analog video recorders have support for a specific form of copy prevention created by Macrovision (now Rovi Corporation) built in, giving Macrovision an effective monopoly on the analog video-recording copy-prevention market. However, section 1201(c) of the title clarified that the title does not change the underlying substantive copyright infringement rights, remedies, or defenses. The title contains other limitations and exemptions, including for research and reverse engineering in specified situations.
Title II: Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act[edit source | editbeta]
DMCA Title II, the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act ("OCILLA"), creates a safe harbor for online service providers (OSPs, including ISPs) against copyright infringement liability, provided they meet specific requirements. OSPs must adhere to and qualify for certain prescribed safe harbor guidelines and promptly block access to alleged infringing material (or remove such material from their systems) when they receive notification of an infringement claim from a copyright holder or the copyright holder's agent. OCILLA also includes a counternotification provision that offers OSPs a safe harbor from liability to their users when users claim that the material in question is not, in fact, infringing. OCILLA also facilitates issuing of subpoenas against OSPs to provide their users' identity.
Title III: Computer Maintenance Competition Assurance Act[edit source | editbeta]
DMCA Title III modified section 117 of the copyright title so that those repairing computers could make certain temporary, limited copies while working on a computer. It reversed the precedent set in MAI Systems Corp. v. Peak Computer, Inc., 991 F.2d 511 (9th Cir. 1993).
Title IV: Miscellaneous Provisions[edit source | editbeta]
DMCA Title IV contains an assortment of provisions:
Clarified and added to the duties of the Copyright Office.
Added ephemeral copy for broadcasters provisions, including certain statutory licenses.
Added provisions to facilitate distance education.
Added provisions to assist libraries with keeping phonorecords of sound recordings.
Added provisions relating to collective bargaining and the transfer of movie rights.
Title V: Vessel Hull Design Protection Act[edit source | editbeta]
DMCA Title V added sections 1301 through 1332 to add a sui generis protection for boat hull designs. Boat hull designs were not considered covered under copyright law because they are useful articles whose form cannot be cleanly separated from their function.
Anti-circumvention exemptions[edit source | editbeta]
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This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (May 2013)
In addition to the safe harbors and exemptions the statute explicitly provides, 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1) requires that the Librarian of Congress issue exemptions from the prohibition against circumvention of access-control technology. Exemptions are granted when it is shown that access-control technology has had a substantial adverse effect on the ability of people to make non-infringing uses of copyrighted works.
The exemption rules are revised every three years. Exemption proposals are submitted by the public to the Registrar of Copyrights, and after a process of hearings and public comments, the final rule is recommended by the Registrar and issued by the Librarian. Exemptions expire after three years and must be resubmitted for the next rulemaking cycle. Consequently, the exemptions issued in the prior rulemakings, in 2000, 2003 and 2006, and 2010 are no longer valid.
Previous exemptions[edit source | editbeta]
The Copyright Office approved two exemptions in 2000; four in 2003; six in 2006 and 2010.
2000, 2003, 2006 rulemakings
In 2000, the first rulemaking, the Office exempted (a) "Compilations consisting of lists of websites blocked by filtering software applications" (renewed in 2003 but not renewed in 2006); and (b) "Literary works, including computer programs and databases, protected by access control mechanisms that fail to permit access because of malfunction, damage, or obsoleteness." (revised and limited in 2003 and again in 2006). In 2003, the 2000 "literary works including computer programs" exemption was limited to "Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are obsolete" and this exemption was renewed in both 2006 and 2010. The 2003 exemption for text readers of ebooks was renewed in both 2006 and 2010. The 2003 exemption for obsolete software and video game formats was renewed in 2006 but was not renewed in 2010. The 2000 filtering exemption was revised and renewed in 2003, but was not renewed in 2006. The 2006 exemption for sound recordings allowed after security flaws were found in a copy protection system on some Sony CDs was not renewed in 2010. An exemption covering the audiovisual works included in the educational library of a college or university’s film or media studies department was not renewed in 2010. This exemption was replaced with an exemption on DVDs protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention is for the purpose of criticism or comment using short sections, for educational, documentary or non-profit use. The 2006 exemption for wireless handsets connecting to wireless networks was revised in 2010 to specify used handsets and require authorization from the wireless network operator. Another exemption for wireless handsets was introduced in 2010 specific to interoperability software on the phone itself.
The 2010 exemptions, issued in July 2010, are:
Motion pictures on DVDs that are lawfully made and acquired and that are protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use in the following instances:
Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students;
Noncommercial videos. (A new exemption in 2010, similar to a previous educational exemption.)
Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset. (A new exemption in 2010.)
Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable used wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is initiated by the owner of the copy of the computer program solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network. (Revised from a similar exemption approved in 2006.)
Video games accessible on personal computers and protected by technological protection measures that control access to lawfully obtained works, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of good faith testing for, investigating, or correcting security flaws or vulnerabilities, if:
The information derived from the security testing is used primarily to promote the security of the owner or operator of a computer, computer system, or computer network; and
The information derived from the security testing is used or maintained in a manner that does not facilitate copyright infringement or a violation of applicable law. (A new exemption in 2010.)
Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are obsolete. A dongle shall be considered obsolete if it is no longer manufactured or if a replacement or repair is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace. (A renewed exemption from 2006, based on a similar exemption approved in 2003.)
Literary works distributed in e-book format when all existing e-book editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book’s read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format. (A renewed exemption from 2006, based on a similar exemption approved in 2003.)
Linking to infringing content[edit source | editbeta]
The law is currently unsettled with regard to websites that contain links to infringing material; however, there have been a few lower-court decisions which have ruled against linking in some narrowly prescribed circumstances. One is when the owner of a website has already been issued an injunction against posting infringing material on their website and then links to the same material in an attempt to circumvent the injunction. Another area involves linking to software or devices which are designed to circumvent op(digital rights management) devices, or links from websites whose sole purpose is to circumvent copyright protection by linking to copyrighted material.
There has been only one case in the US where a website owner has been found liable for linking to copyrighted material outside of the above narrow circumstances.
Notable court cases[edit source | editbeta]
[icon] This section requires expansion. (November 2008)
Edelman v. N2H2[edit source | editbeta]
In July 2002, American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on the behalf of Benjamin Edelman, a computer researcher at Berkman Center for Internet and Society, seeking a declaratory judgment to affirm his first amendment rights when reverse engineering the censorware product of defendant N2H2 in case he intended to publish the finding. N2H2 filed a motion to dismiss, which the court granted.
RealNetworks, Inc. v. DVD Copy Control Association, Inc.[edit source | editbeta]
Main article: RealNetworks, Inc. v. DVD Copy Control Association, Inc.
In August 2009, the DVD Copy Control Association won a lawsuit against RealNetworks for violating copyright law in selling its RealDVD software, allowing users to copy DVDs and store them on a harddrive. The DVD Copy Control Association claimed that Real violated the DMCA by circumventing anti-piracy measures ARccOS Protection and RipGuard, as well as breaking Real's licensing agreement with the MPAA's Content Scrambling System.
Viacom Inc. v. YouTube, Google Inc.[edit source | editbeta]
Main article: Viacom International Inc. v. YouTube, Inc.
On March 13, 2007, Viacom filed a lawsuit against YouTube and its corporate parent Google for copyright infringement seeking more than $1 billion in damages. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Viacom claims the popular video-sharing site was engaging in "massive intentional copyright infringement" for making available a contended 160,000 unauthorized clips of Viacom's entertainment programming. Google relied on the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act's "safe harbor" provision to shield them from liability.
On June 23, 2010, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton granted summary judgment in favor of YouTube. The court held that YouTube is protected by the safe harbor of the DMCA. Viacom has said that it will appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as soon as possible.
On April 5, 2012, the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Judge Louis Stanton's ruling, and instead ruled that Viacom had presented enough evidence against YouTube to warrant a trial, and the case should not have been thrown out in summary judgement. The court did uphold the ruling that YouTube could not be held liable based on "general knowledge" that users on its site were infringing copyright. The case will be sent back to the District Court in New York to be tried.
IO Group, Inc. v. Veoh Networks, Inc.[edit source | editbeta]
Main article: IO Group, Inc. v. Veoh Networks, Inc.
On June 23, 2006 IO Group, Inc. filed a complaint against Veoh Networks, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for California's Northern District.
IO Group alleged that Veoh was responsible for copyright infringement by allowing videos owned by IO Group to be accessed through Veoh's online service without permission over 40,000 times between the dates June 1 and June 22.
Veoh is a Flash video site relying on user contributed content. IO Group argued that since Veoh transcoded user uploaded videos to Flash format it became a direct infringer and the materials were under their direct control, thereby disqualifying them for DMCA safe harbor protection.
The ruling judge disagreed with the argument, stating that "Veoh has simply established a system whereby software automatically processes user-submitted content and recasts it in a format that is readily accessible to its users. Veoh preselects the software parameters for the process from a range of default values set by the thirdparty software... But Veoh does not itself actively participate or supervise the uploading of files. Nor does it preview or select the files before the upload is completed. Instead, video files are uploaded through an automated process which is initiated entirely at the volition of Veoh's users."
The Court has granted the Veoh's motion for summary judgment, on the basis of the DMCA, holding that the defendant's video-sharing web site complied and was entitled to the protection of the statute's "safe harbor" provision. Even though Veoh won the court case, it blamed the litigation as one of the causes of its preparing to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and its subsequent sale to Qlipso.
Vernor v. Autodesk, Inc.[edit source | editbeta]
Main article: Vernor v. Autodesk, Inc.
After numerous DMCA takedown notices in response to his eBay listings, Timothy S. Vernor sued Autodesk in August 2007 alleging that Autodesk abused the DMCA and disrupted his right to sell used software he bought at a garage sale. In May 2008, a federal district judge in Washington State dismissed Autodesk's argument that the software's license agreement preempted the seller from his rights under the first-sale doctrine. In September 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that "a software user is a licensee rather than an owner of a copy where the copyright owner (1) specifies that the user is granted a license; (2) significantly restricts the user's ability to transfer the software; and (3) imposes notable use restrictions."
Lenz v. Universal Music Corp.[edit source | editbeta]
Main article: Lenz v. Universal Music Corp.
In 2007, Stephanie Lenz, a writer and editor from Gallitzin, Pennsylvania made a home video of her 13-month-old son dancing to "Let's Go Crazy" and posted a 29-second video on the video-sharing site YouTube. Four months after the video was originally uploaded, Universal Music Group, which owned the copyrights to the song, ordered YouTube to remove the video enforcing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Lenz notified YouTube immediately that her video was within the scope of fair use, and demanded that it be restored. YouTube complied after six weeks—not two weeks, as required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act—to see whether Universal planned to sue Lenz for infringement. Lenz then sued Universal Music in California for her legal costs, claiming the music company had acted in bad faith by ordering removal of a video that represented fair use of the song.
In August 2008, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel of San Jose, California ruled that copyright holders cannot order a deletion of an online file without determining whether that posting reflected "fair use" of the copyrighted material.
On February 25, 2010, Judge Fogel issued a ruling rejecting several of Universal's affirmative defenses, including the defense that Lenz suffered no damages.
Flava Works Inc. v. Gunter[edit source | editbeta]
Main article: Flava Works Inc. v. Gunter
In the case of Flava Works Inc. v. Gunter the court denied the defendant safe harbour protection under DMCA 17 U.S.C. § 512. The district court found that the defendant had knowledge of its users' infringing activity and also failed to prevent future infringing activity. As such the plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction was granted. On appeal, however, the Seventh Circuit vacated the injunction, citing the standard set in eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C., which states that courts should not rely on categorical rules as a standard for injunction.
Ouellette v. Viacom International Inc.[edit source | editbeta]
Main article: Ouellette v. Viacom International Inc.
In this case of Ouellette v. Viacom International Inc., the court denied plaintiff's attempt to find liability for YouTube and Myspace's takedowns of the plaintiff's homemade videos. Despite potential fair use claims, the court found it impossible to use the DMCA takedown provisions as a foundation for liability. The court found that the safe harbor provision serves "to limit the liability of internet service providers, not to create liability that could not otherwise be imposed under existing law independent of the DMCA."
Sony v. George Hotz[edit source | editbeta]
Main article: Sony Computer Entertainment America v. George Hotz
In January 2011, Sony Computer Entertainment sued George Hotz over violating the Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act as well as the Federal Fraud and Abuse Act due to facilitating consumers to jailbreak their PlayStation 3 consoles. Hotz argued that because he had purchased the product, he had the right to do with it as he pleased. After three months, Sony and Hotz decided to settle out of court. This also included an injunction against George Hotz, barring him from hacking any more Sony products.
Criticisms[edit source | editbeta]
Abuse of Takedown notice[edit source | editbeta]
Google asserted misuse of the DMCA in a filing concerning New Zealand's copyright act, quoting results from a 2005 study by Californian academics Laura Quilter and Jennifer Urban based on data from the Chilling Effects clearinghouse. Takedown notices targeting a competing business made up over half (57%) of the notices Google has received, the company said, and more than one-third (37%), "were not valid copyright claims."
Effect on analog video equipment[edit source | editbeta]
Analog Copy Protection (ACP), the encryption technology created by Rovi Corporation (formerly Macrovision), is designed to thwart users' attempts to reproduce content via analog cables. When a DVD is played through an analog video cable and recorded using a VCR, Rovi's ACP technology will distort the copy partially or completely.
The technology works by adding additional lines to the video signal. In the NTSC video standard, blank lines (vertical blanking intervals) that the user cannot see are used for functions like closed captioning. Rovi Corporation uses these blank lines to implement its ACP technology.
The implementation of ACP has been ill-regarded by some video enthusiasts. Many claim that the technology has led to signal issues with VCRs and analog video equipment. Some VCRs misread the encryption used to prevent copying, distorting the video image regardless of whether the recording is original or a copy.
The DMCA has been criticized for forcing all producers of analog video equipment to support the proprietary copy protection technology of Rovi Corporation, a commercial firm. The producers of video equipment are forced by law to support and implement the corporation's proprietary technology. This benefits Rovi Corporation financially, whereas those forced to implement it receive neither profit nor compensation.
Additionally, some criticize the implementation of ACP as a violation of their fair use rights. A recently developed TV-streaming product called the Slingbox uses analog signals to convey video from television to a mobile device. However, the encryption used by ACP blocks analog transmission, rendering the Slingbox unusable. Additionally ACP blocks the use of recording for educational purposes. On one or more accounts, students have not been able to cite and record cable sources properly due to ACP restrictions.
Effect on research[edit source | editbeta]
Main article: Digital rights management
The DMCA has had an impact on the worldwide cryptography research community, since an argument can be made that any cryptanalytic research violates, or might violate, the DMCA. The arrest of Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov in 2001, for alleged infringement of the DMCA, was a highly publicized example of the law's use to prevent or penalize development of anti-DRM measures.[dead link] While working for ElcomSoft in Russia, he developed The Advanced eBook Processor, a software application allowing users to strip usage restriction information from restricted e-books, an activity legal in both Russia and the United States. Paradoxically, under the DMCA, it is not legal in the United States to provide such a tool. Sklyarov was arrested in the United States after presenting a speech at DEF CON and subsequently spent nearly a month in jail. The DMCA has also been cited as chilling to legitimate users, such as students of cryptanalysis (including, in a well-known instance, Professor Edward Felten and students at Princeton), and security consultants such as Niels Ferguson, who has declined to publish information about vulnerabilities he discovered in an Intel secure-computing scheme because of his concern about being arrested under the DMCA when he travels to the U.S.
Effect on innovation and competition[edit source | editbeta]
In at least one court case, the DMCA has been used by Open Source software projects to defend against conversion of software (i.e., license violations) that involved removal of copyright notices. This defense can be used even without timely copyright registration, and can generate attorney fee awards, which together make it a useful strategy for Open Source organizations.
Reform and opposition[edit source | editbeta]
There have been several Congressional efforts to modify the Act. Rick Boucher, a Democratic congressman from Virginia, led one of these efforts by introducing the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (DMCRA).
A prominent bill related to the DMCA is the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (CBDTPA), known in early drafts as the Security Systems and Standards Certification Act (SSSCA). This bill, if it had passed, would have dealt with the devices used to access digital content and would have been even more restrictive than the DMCA.
On the tenth anniversary of the DMCA, the Electronic Frontier Foundation documented harmful consequences of the anti-circumvention provisions. They document that the DMCA:
Stifles free expression, such as in its use against Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov, Princeton Professor Edward Felten, and journalists;
Jeopardizes fair use;
Impedes competition, such as blocking aftermarket competition in toner cartridges, garage door openers, and enforcing walled gardens around the iPod; and
Interferes with computer intrusion laws.
See also[edit source | editbeta]
Portal icon Government of the United States portal
Portal icon Internet portal
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) contains two main sections that have been a source of particular controversy since they went into effect in 2000. The "anti-circumvention" provisions (sections 1201 et seq. of the Copyright Act) bar circumvention of access controls and technical protection measures. The "safe harbor" provisions (section 512) protect service providers who meet certain conditions from monetary damages for the infringing activities of their users and other third parties on the net.
In enacting the "anti-circumvention" provisions of the DMCA Congress ostensibly intended to stop copyright pirates from defeating DRM and other content access or copy restrictions on copyrighted works and to ban the "black box" devices intended for that purpose. In practice the DMCA anti-circumvention provisions have done little to stop "Internet piracy." Yet the DMCA has become a serious threat that jeopardizes fair use impedes competition and innovation chills free expression and scientific research and interferes with computer intrusion laws. If you circumvent DRM locks for noninfringing fair uses or create the tools to do so you might be on the receiving end of a lawsuit.
The DMCA “safe harbors” protect service providers from monetary liability based on the allegedly infringing activities of third parties. To receive these protections service providers must comply with the conditions set forth in Section 512 including “notice and takedown” procedures that give copyright holders a quick and easy way to disable access to allegedly infringing content. Section 512 also contains provisions allowing users to challenge improper takedowns. Without these protections the risk of potential copyright liability would prevent many online intermediaries from providing services such as hosting and transmitting user-generated content. Thus the safe harbors, while imperfect, have been essential to the growth of the Internet as an engine for innovation and free expression.
EFF has fought hard against the DMCA circumvention provisions in the courts, Congress and other forums, and has fought equally hard to make sure the DMCA safe harbors shelter innovation and creativity. Learn more
Linden Lab will respond to allegations of copyright violations in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA provides a process for a copyright owner to give notification to an online service provider concerning alleged copyright infringement. When a valid DMCA notification is received, the service provider responds under this process by taking down the offending content. On taking down content under the DMCA, we will take reasonable steps to contact the owner of the removed content so that a counter-notification may be filed. On receiving a valid counter-notification, we generally restore the content in question, unless we receive notice from the notification provider that a legal action has been filed seeking a court order to restrain the alleged infringer from engaging in the infringing activity.
To File a Notification
A written notification must be made. This can be done either by fax or written letter (regular mail or courier). Emails will not be accepted unless a prior arrangement has been made. The notification must:
Identify in sufficient detail the copyrighted work that you believe has been infringed upon (i.e., describe the work that you own).
Identify the in-world item that you claim is infringing on your copyright, and provide information reasonably sufficient to locate the item in-world. For example "The allegedly infringing work I am referring to is located on the map area labeled 'Freelon, 104,30,56'."
Provide a reasonably sufficient method of contacting you; phone number and email address would be preferred.
(Optional) Provide information, if possible, sufficient to permit us to notify the user(s) who posted the content that allegedly contains infringing material. You may also provide screenshots or other materials that are helpful to identify the works in question. (This is for identification only, not to "prove" substantive claims.)
Include the following statement: "I have good faith belief that the use of the copyrighted materials described above and contained on the service is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or by protection of law."
Include the following statement: "I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed."
Sign the paper
Please note: The DMCA provides that you may be liable for damages (including costs and attorneys fees) if you falsely claim that an in-world item is infringing your copyrights. We recommend contacting an attorney if you are unsure whether an in-world object is protected by copyright laws.
Send the written document to the designated Copyright Agent at Linden Research:
Linden Research, Inc.
Attn: Designated Copyright Agent
945 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
Alternatively, fax the document to (415)520-9660. On the cover sheet, please write ATTN: DMCA NOTIFICATION
To file a counter-notification:
List the in-world items that were removed by the Second Life administrators, and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed. Please identify the object in sufficient detail, and when possible, the UUID.
Provide your name, address, telephone number, email address (if available).
State that you consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which you reside (or San Francisco, California if your address is outside of the United States).
State that you will accept service of process from the person who provided notification to us of the alleged infringement or an agent of such person.
State the following: "I swear, under penalty of perjury, that I have a good faith belief that the material identified above was removed or disabled as a result of a mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled."
Sign the paper.
Send the written document to the designated Copyright Agent at Linden Research:
Linden Research, Inc.
Attn: Designated Copyright Agent
945 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
Alternatively, fax the document to (415)520-9660. On the cover sheet, please write ATTN: DMCA COUNTER-NOTIFICATION
How do I make a DMCA notification or counter-notification?
Please follow the instructions above precisely, including only the enumerated information. Inclusion of any information beyond the specifically required information and optional information listed above could significantly impede review of your attempted notification. You may find it simplest to cut-and-paste the numbered items above and use them as headings for the information you are submitting.
How does Linden Lab determine who "wins" and "loses"?
Linden Lab does not adjudicate the substance of the copyright claim: we do not declare winners and losers. Your copyright in an item is determined in the real world, by real-world processes including the DMCA. The DMCA process allows users of an online service to resolve copyright disputes using the adjudication systems available in the real world.
Can I submit my notices over email?
Unfortunately, email addresses posted on public website pages quickly become the target of spam, making it difficult to review legitimate communications. Please submit information as requested above; if digital files are necessary to identify materials in question, we can make arrangements for digital delivery.
Can I sign notifications and counter-notifications with my Second Life avatar name?
We will not accept notices that are not signed by a real legal person. The DMCA process is a real-world process with real-world ramifications.
I don't agree with the required statements. Do I have to state these things?
We will not accept notices under the DMCA that do not include the statements required by the DMCA.
Can you change the DMCA process?
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is federal law, passed by the United States Congress. Linden Lab does not have the power to change congressional acts.
Why is Linden Lab imposing liability for damages for false claims of copyright infringement?
The liability for damages for false claims is a provision of the DMCA, which was not written by Linden Lab. Note that these damages and legal fees can be significant, for example http://www.onlinepolicy.org/action/legpolicy/opg_v_diebold/.
Can Linden Lab give me legal advice concerning my claim?
Linden Lab cannot provide legal advice to you. If you are uncertain about any legal issues, you are well-advised to obtain the services of a competent legal professional.
Do you terminate accounts based on DMCA claims?
If Linden Lab believes that a user of Second Life is continually abusing the DMCA process, either with filings that appear to be without basis, or by continually re-posting content that is the subject of valid DMCA notifications, we may exercise our right to terminate the abusing party's account. Keep in mind though, that Linden Lab's actions still do not determine the substantive outcome of copyright disputes. Copyright matters are real-world rights, governed by real-world systems.
Where can I find more information about the DMCA and other copyright laws?
There are many available resources on the Internet. Linden Lab is not responsible for the content provided by these other resources, but we have found the following to be informative: