How to write and format a DMCA Letter

Writing a DMCA Letter is easy, but there are steps to take for preparing and sending the letter.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was passed in 1998 as a way to help protect digital content. In this article you’re going to see the exact email that I sent to have my content removed from a website that only copy/pastes other people’s blog content. I will remove the persons contact information from the text, however as I write this, it is publicly accessible in the whois.

daddy-dslr-dmca

I woke up this morning with seven blog trackback notifications. All from one domain. Right off the bat I knew that was bad news. Trackbacks are not terrible, but it seven from seven domains would make more sense.

Steps for creating a DMCA Letter

  • Step 1: Do a WHOIS of the domain to find the host, registrar and owner’s information
  • Step 2: Take screenshots of the whois information, and the DMCA content
  • Step 3: Search the host and registrar’s websites for their legal/DMCA department’s contact information
  • Step 4: Draft an email (use my text below and then modify it) to the domain, registrar and owner’s email address. Make sure you include the DMCA links and your original content’s links
  • Step 5: BCC yourself because it can’t hurt
  • Step 6: Attach all the screenshots that you have captured
  • Step 7: Send and wait a couple of days. Some hosts and registrars state a specific amount of time before they will get to the DMCA letter. If you receive no reply after that time, you can take it to the next step.

Some people might say that there is no need to send the DMCA letter to the owner or registrar. They might say you only need to send it to the website host. In my opinion, you’re better to send it to everyone involved as you will have a quicker chance of removal of the DMCA content.

Any questions? Below is my email to the most recent aggregating domain. In addition to blocking the owner’s email address, I am removing links because I do not want to link to the domain. I will not be sharing all the screenshots either because there really is no point to post those in this article.

Have something to add? Please add your comments and share it with the readers.

Website Protection Pro

DMCA Letter Template

Dear Sir or Madam:

A website hosted by your company on publishing system having the host name NS1.LUNARIFFIC.COM, infringes upon our exclusive rights in a number of copyrighted works. The copyrighted work at issue are the scripts that appear where you publish and have been published without authorization at the URL and IP address indicated.

http://dandydslr.com/

The above referenced URLs provide, without authorization, the ability to download copyrighted works produced and owned by me, Scott Wyden Kivowitz. Below, please find details regarding the infringing URL, and original URL for each of these copyrighted works.

Offending URLs:
 http://dandydslr.com/create-your-photography-story

http://dandydslr.com/it%e2%80%99s-not-a-flower-1452

http://dandydslr.com/what%e2%80%99s-a-bridge-between-friends

http://dandydslr.com/think-tank-photo-passport-holder-preview

http://dandydslr.com/hdr-tennis-game-10-result

http://dandydslr.com/talk-imagery-podcast-%e2%80%93-episode-2

http://dandydslr.com/now-in-photoverse-for-iphone-and-ipad

Owners (my) URLs: http://scottwyden.com/create-your-photography-story/

http://scottwyden.com/its-not-a-flower/

http://scottwyden.com/boost-your-creativity-with-surrounding-yourself-by-creativity/

http://scottwyden.com/think-tank-photo-passport-holder-preview/

http://scottwyden.com/hdr-tennis-game-10-result/

http://scottwyden.com/talk-imagery-podcast-episode-2/

http://scottwyden.com/now-in-photoverse-for-iphone-and-ipad/

All of the listed infringements were observed on April 12, 2011 at 6:11 AM EST

Please remove the referenced material from your service at once, and take other appropriate action against the account holder to prevent future infringement.
Pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, this letter serves as actual notice of infringement in the event of legal proceedings. I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted material described above on the allegedly infringing web pages is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law 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.

Please contact me promptly to confirm the action you have taken.

Scott Kivowitz
put your contact information here

WHOIS information for dandydslr.com :

[Querying whois.verisign-grs.com]
[Redirected to whois.tucows.com]
[Querying whois.tucows.com]
[whois.tucows.com]
Registrant:
owner’s contact information was here

Domain name: DANDYDSLR.COM

Administrative Contact:
owner’s contact information was here

Technical Contact:
Administrator, System hostmaster@lunarpages.com
1360 N. Hancock St.
Anaheim, CA 92807
US
+1.7145218150

Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
Record last updated on 11-Apr-2011.
Record expires on 11-Apr-2012.
Record created on 11-Apr-2011.

Registrar Domain Name Help Center:
http://tucowsdomains.com

Domain servers in listed order:
NS2.LUNARIFFIC.COM
NS1.LUNARIFFIC.COM

The Data in the Tucows Registrar WHOIS database is provided to you by Tucows
for information purposes only, and may be used to assist you in obtaining
information about or related to a domain name’s registration record.

Tucows makes this information available “as is,” and does not guarantee its
accuracy.

By submitting a WHOIS query, you agree that you will use this data only for
lawful purposes and that, under no circumstances will you use this data to:
a) allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission by e-mail,
telephone, or facsimile of mass, unsolicited, commercial advertising or
solicitations to entities other than the data recipient’s own existing
customers; or (b) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes that
send queries or data to the systems of any Registry Operator or
ICANN-Accredited registrar, except as reasonably necessary to register
domain names or modify existing registrations.

The compilation, repackaging, dissemination or other use of this Data is
expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Tucows.

Tucows reserves the right to terminate your access to the Tucows WHOIS
database in its sole discretion, including without limitation, for excessive
querying of the WHOIS database or for failure to otherwise abide by this
policy.

Tucows reserves the right to modify these terms at any time.

By submitting this query, you agree to abide by these terms.

NOTE: THE WHOIS DATABASE IS A CONTACT DATABASE ONLY. LACK OF A DOMAIN
RECORD DOES NOT SIGNIFY DOMAIN AVAILABILITY.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Great information – I haven’t had that issue with my photography site, but there have been lots of problems with my main blog. It’s something many are fighting regularly now that there is software that allows people to easily rip off other people’s content. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    1. There are so many ways for people to aggregate RSS feeds that it’s scary. It’s actually against WordPress policy (I believe) to create a plugin that does it (without asking for permission).

  2. Hi Scott,

    I was looking about something with dmca thingy.

    I already have sent friendly emails to two webmasters last year, because they copied exactly the same content as mine without any links back..

    They did copy the page source, so the ads were copied as well, pretty pathetic I would say :-)

    But I still felt unfair, because they did steal my content without any credits or permission, so before I wrote this dmca letter, I wrote them email nicely, and they did remove the content..

    Though if only they did not remove them, I would write this dmca letter too. will it work though?

    Thanks.

    1. The DMCA letter should work, legally. If you send the DMCA letter and they do not take the content down then the next step in an attorney.

      1. Thank you for the quick respond!

        Never thought of getting an attorney.

        1. You’re very welcome Kimi

  3. Hopefully I never have to use this but it’s saved for if I do! Thanks for this one dude

  4. Hi Scott,

    I recently had to send this same douchebag (pardon my French) a cease and desist e-mail too—he’d harvested a large number of my website articles. It took him 3 days to pull them down, but eventually did. My co-editor was so pissed off he e-mailed the other people whose posts he was stealing to alert them.

    This guy is still at it, harvesting articles from about.com and other sites, but he’s become smarter, because you and I received a trackback alert due to the fact that there was a link in his posts linking back to the original articles on our pages—that link isn’t there anymore. If you look at one of his posts, you now have no way of finding the original article unless you Google the title or some text.

    People who do this should be kicked out by their registrars and website hosters.

    Here’s to legit content, Scott! :-)

  5. Hi, Great help and I actually need it right now. My problem is trying to find this persons hosting company. They’re using Cloudflare, a VPS server and the only thing I can find is that the domain is hosted at Godaddy.

    I know the personal info of the person who owns the site, have written in the past and got a threatening letter in return, but I can’t find all the stuff you list to write to. They keep things under a very tight veil of privacy.

    I have some artistic content that the site uses and have taken my credits out as per the TOS of using my stuff. I also know this person is actively trying to find someone to copy some of the artwork to change the images on the home page!

    I could really use some advice on how to dig up this person’s domain and stuff. All I want is the link backs put back on the site.

    1. If the information in the whois doesn’t help (some registrars allow private whois information) then the next step would be to content whoever’s information is there. In your case, Cloudflare. They have the ability to forward your email to the website owner.

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