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If You Provide a DMCA Takedown Notice, Provide It Properly

Logo of Perfect 10, a company involved in DMCA takedown notice litigation

In Terms of Use and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) I described the six elements that a copyright owner must include in a DMCA takedown notice sent to a service provider that is hosting infringing content. Perfect 10 v. Google shows that a DMCA takedown notice will not be effective if it lacks the required information.

Perfect 10, which creates and sells photos of nude models, brought suit against Google, alleging, among other things, copyright infringement based on caching and hosting of photos.

Perfect 10 had sent numerous takedown notices to Google. Google won a partial summary judgment because, as a matter of law, many of the notices were deficient. Specifically, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California held that notices were deficient because:

  • E-mail notices were sent to Google’s webmaster rather than the designated agent specified on Google’s website.
  • Copyrighted works that allegedly were infringed were not identified. Instead, for example, Perfect 10 sent cover letters, spreadsheets, and hard drives or DVDs, and expected Google to rummage through the electronic media to locate infringing files.

Perfect 10’s deficient notices are inexcusable. You don’t have to be a genius to send a perfect DMCA takedown notice – you just have to follow the rules.

Follow-up: The District Court’s decision was affirmed (though on grounds unrelated to the DMCA) by the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Perfect 10 v. Google.

Check out all posts about DMCA takedown notices.

Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law  +1 510-547-0545  dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
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