How to send a DMCA takedown notice (Guide + Template)
This guide shows you step by step how to submit a DMCA takedown notice. Below, you will find a DMCA email template, which you can use to remove pirated copies of your content from the internet.
What is a DMCA Copyright Infringement takedown Notice?
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requires filehosters and websites to remove copyrighted content if they receive a complaint. These complaints are also called “DMCA takedown notice” or “DMCA takedown notification”. The DMCA is US law, but Internet companies worldwide adhere to it.
If someone pirated your product, you can use a DMCA notice to get the stolen files removed. Your advantage: there is no need to get lawyers involved - anyone can write a DMCA notice. However, in order to be valid, the notification must be written in a specific way.
What to do if my eBooks, video courses or apps has been pirated?
Every successful author will be confronted with piracy. It doesn't matter whether you create eBooks, video courses or apps.
Piracy will always hurt your sales. How much, depends on the type of work and on your target audience.
A University of Minnessota study showed a 15.4% improvement in eBook sales after fighting piracy. This would mean that piracy is responsible for an average loss in sales of 13.3%.
This article shows you what to do.
It is not possible to combat all forms of piracy. However, it is possible to make pirated content very hard to find. When you do that, many potential pirates will give up and just buy your product.
Send a DMCA takedown notice by following these steps
The following step-by-step instructions show you how to find pirated content and get it removed by sending a DMCA takedown notice. Make sure to read through everything, even if you already know where the pirated content can be found. These instructions will help you to find even more copies.
Step 1: Find the Pirate Sites
Before proceeding, please make sure your browser is up-to-date. Also, don't download any files. Contrary to popular belief, most pirates sites are not full of viruses and malware - but some of them are.
We will use Google. For starters, type in one of the following:
- If your work is a video course or downloadable software: <title of your work> rar ("rar" is referring to the rar file format, which allows to pack multiple files into an archive. Rar is the most frequent file format used in online piracy)
- For ebooks and magazines: <title of your work> epub|mobi|pdf
How to distinguish real and fake pirate sites
You may find websites that claim to offer your work for free download, but they don't. They just mention the title of your work, with a fake download button.
As a guideline: real pirate sites have accurate descriptions of your work, or at least the title. They will also mention the correct filesize that your actual product has. Scam sites will only mention the filename, with no further description, and with an incorrect filesize. With some practice, you will be able to tell the difference.
Let's follow the first link on Google. We arrive on this website:
This seems to be a real pirate site, because they mention the correct title and a description of your work. Make a note of all pirate sites you find, and ignore the fake sites.
Step 2: Find out where the actual files are stored
Pirate sites distribute your work, but they usually don't store the files on their servers. Instead, they link to other services to store the stolen files (so-called filehosters).
These filehosters are really important. Our goal is to get the pirated files removed from the filehosters. The pirate sites are just a listing and become useless when we remove the files.
Pirates use three different hosting methods:
- Filehosters, which allow anyone to share files with a click. This is the most common, because pirates usually can't afford to host files themselves.
- They host it themselves, right on the pirate site. Some eBook piracy sites do that.
- Torrents or other peer-to-peer networks.
In this guide, we will focus on filehosters. Files on filehosters are the easiest to remove.
That alone is very effective, and will already increase your sales. Filehoster piracy is widespread, and anyone can find the files and download with just a few clicks. If the pirated copies become harder to find, potential customers think twice and just buy the product.
Let's get back to the pirate site we found on Google:
As you can see, the pirates link to rapidgator.net, which is a file hosting site.
Make a list of all these filehoster links. In Step 3, you will learn how to get them taken down.
Step 3: Send a DMCA takedown notice
We will now go through the filehoster links we collected, and get them taken down. Note that we are not talking about the pirate sites that list your product -- those sites are often impossible to take down, even with legal action. Instead of targeting the pirate sites, we will go after the filehoster links, and get those taken down. The pirate sites will still have a listing of your product, but all the download links will stop working! Potential pirates will give searching and consider buying your product.
Most filehosters are very cooperative and will remove your content if asked. To get the content taken down, we will need to write a DMCA notice. This is a formal email requiring several pieces of information.
Let's find out how we can reach the DMCA department of rapidgator.net. We are looking for a "DMCA" or "Report Abuse" button:
This brings us to a form where we can enter our complaint:
Your complaint has to adhere to the DMCA law, otherwise it will be ignored. Simply use sample below, and insert your own information.
Most filehosters will remove your content within a few business days. You will need to repeat that process several times to make sure all content is taken down.
DMCA Takedown Notice Email Template
Use this text when sending an e-mail to a filehoster, or filling out an "abuse" form on their website. Replace all [text] with your own information.
DMCA TAKEDOWN NOTICE
Date: [September 17, 2018]
Dear Sir or Madam,
it has come to my attention that your website is hosting unlicensed copies of copyrighted works published by [John Doe].
- Identification of copyrighted works
Copyrighted work(s): [My eBook]
Copyright owner: [John Doe]
- Copyright infringing material or activity found at the following location(s)
The above copyright work(s) is being made available at the above location without authorization of the copyright owner.
- Statement of authority
The information in this notice is accurate. I hereby certify under penalty of perjury that I am authorized to act on behalf of [John Doe], the owner of the copyright(s) in the work(s) identified above. I have a good faith belief that none of the materials or activities listed above have been authorized by [John Doe], its agents, or the law.
We hereby give notice of these activities to you and request that you take expeditious action to remove or disable access to the material described above, and thereby prevent the illegal reproduction and distribution of this copyright work(s) via your network.
We appreciate your cooperation in this matter. Please advise us regarding what actions you take.
How to submit a DMCA takedown request with Google
We recommend sending a DMCA takedown notice to the hosting provider and a DMCA takedown request to Google as well. In most cases Google will accept your request. Once accepted they will remove your Content from the search results. Google offers a simple form to request removal, which can be found here.
This is helpful if the filehoster doesn’t offer a DMCA contact link, or if they refuse to take down the files.
To send a DMCA takedown notices, three steps are required:
First, you need to be clear where stolen copies of your work can be found.
Second, you need to look for the actual file links.
Third, you follow these file links and send DMCA complaints to the filehosters.
As an additional measure, you can also submit a takedown notice to Google, asking them to remove the pirate sites from their search results.
Fighting piracy by hand is time-consuming - you probably have more important things to do. Also, if there are a lot of stolen files, it is difficult to keep up.
Why not let us handle everything?
We run an anti-piracy search engine, which is designed to find all stolen copies of your works. We check every day, and when files are found we send takedown notices on your behalf. If necessary, we also get pirate sites removed from Google search results.
Get a FREE anti-piracy scan:
Click the button below and tell us the title of your work(s). We will check for piracy and send you a complete list of all links. This is a free offer, no-strings-attached!