How To Copyright and Avoid Infringement

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

How To Copyright Your Work and Take Down Stolen Content

As an artist, you want to know that your work is safe and that no one is going to steal, repost, or claim it as their own.

Thanks to the way the copyright works, your creations are protected by the U.S. copyright laws, such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), from the moment they come to life.

Even with this law, you'll want to take protection measures up a notch to keep your creations safe from copyright infringement.

How the DMCA Helps You Protect Your Content?

DMCA protection applies to both content owners and internet service providers (ISPs).

The main mechanism for protecting your digital content copyright, based on the DMCA, is known as DMCA takedown. The DMCA enables copyright owners to issue copyright infringement noticesdocuments that you send to the host of the offending website or the internet service provider (ISP). The point is to get the copyrighted content taken down.

While it cannot prevent theft and copyright infringement, a DMCA notice is a great method to get your content taken down from an infringing website once you notice the violation. Most infringers comply with takedown notices in fear of further legal action.

How To File a Copyright Infringement DMCA Notice

The DMCA copyright notice is one of the most powerful tools you have if someone infringes on your copyrighted content. It allows you to take down stolen content from a website that doesn't have your permission to use it.

The notice doesn't have a predetermined form, but here are some essential elements that you should include:

The Word Copyright in the SubjectNote that not every website owner knows what the DMCA is, so titling the document with a Copyright Infringement notice or Copyright Notice will likely clear things up
Your Contact DetailsMake sure to include your name, phone number, email address, and mailing address
Proof of the CopyrightIf you registered your copyright, you need to show the proof.

It's not necessary to do that, but it will increase the chances of the infringed content being taken down faster

Identification of the Infringed WorkYou need to provide links to the infringed content so that the ISP can identify and compare it with the original
Statement of Good FaithYou need to state that you believe that everything you mentioned is true and that the material on the recipient's website is infringing on your rights as the copyright owner
Affirmation Under Penalty of PerjuryYou have to state, under penalty of perjury, that you are the copyright owner
An Electronic SignatureYou have to sign the notice before sending it

DMCA notices are usually drafted by lawyers because they need to include appropriate legal vocabulary and be convincing to the ISPs of the infringing website.

ISPs get a lot of DMCA notices, and a significant portion of them is fake, which means that an unprofessional one might go unnoticed.

This doesn't mean that you need to hire a lawyer to reclaim your content. You only need DoNotPay and a few minutes of your time.

Why Should You Use DoNotPay To File a Takedown Notice?

We will make sure any infringement of your content is taken down quickly.

Our app received the American Bar Association Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access and can generate a professional DMCA takedown notice and send it to the ISP in question.

The process will only take a few minutes of your time:

  1. Access DoNotPay from your
  2. Click on the DMCA Takedown option
  3. Enter the title of your content
  4. Paste the link of the website hosting your content without your consent
  5. Paste the link to the website where you posted the content originally

Once you complete the steps, you can follow up on the outcome in the My Disputes tab.

Do You Have To Register a Copyright To Have Copyright Protection?

Your work is technically protected from the moment you create it, but that protection is not complete.

Your copyright will last during your lifetime and up to 70 years after your death, but this may not be enough in court.

If you have to prove that you are the content owner, having it registered officially would significantly simplify the process.

The place to officially register your work is the U.S. Copyright Office.

Here is everything you can register for copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office:

  • Literary works like books, poetry, articles
  • Performing arts like scripts, sound recordings, music, lyrics, songs, dances
  • Visual arts like artwork, drawings, jewelry, textile, architecture
  • Various digital content like programs, blogs, and websites
  • Photographs like images, selfies, or any photo
  • Motion pictures like films, TV shows, video games, animated videos

How To Register a Copyright With the U.S. Copyright Office?

The U.S. Copyright Office enables you to register your work online.

The process is simple, but you may be required to send in a copy of your work via mail.

This is usually requested when you want to register an unpublished work, or you need to provide proof of identity (if the object is too large to be sent via post).

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Visit the U.S. Copyright Office website
  2. Click on the Register tab
  3. Scroll down and select the type of work corresponding to your creation
  4. Click on the box on the right side to register your work
  5. Sign up or Log in to your U.S. Copyright Office account
  6. Select the Copyright Registration option to the left
  7. Click on Register A New Claim
  8. Click on the Start Registration button
  9. Provide the requested info
  10. Pay the registration fee
  11. Provide a copy of your work according to the specifications

If you prefer to work offline and not deal with online forms, you can mail your application for copyright via post.

You need to include the printed version of the application (forms are available on the U.S. Copyright Office website), a copy of your content, and the filing fee.

The address is 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540, United States.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do for You?

If you need additional info on how to protect your work, DoNotPay has got you covered.

Our app will present you with known copyright infringement cases, show you how to add a copyright notice to your work, apply the Fair Use Copyright law in practice, and teach you the difference between a trademark and copyright.

You may also want to get familiar with the costs of registering a copyright, and what kind of penalties apply to copyright infringement.

We can also guide you through the specifics of Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon copyright infringement rules. If you are interested in the YouTube copyright system, we will show you how to file a copyright claim and a copyright strike on a website.

Access DoNotPay from your to learn how we can take over tasks like:

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