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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.
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I manage a small website that allows user to upload user generated

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I manage a small website that allows user to upload user generated content. As part of our Terms of Service, I received a DMCA takedown notice for some content a user posted on that site. Questions:

1) If I remove the content, am I required to respond to the complaint (saying I removed it, etc?)? Is it possible for you to help with boilerplate language?

2) Can I put up a notice that the information was removed due to a DMCA takedown notice? If I can locate the user who posted the content, can I forward them the complaint email? Should I not do that? The complaint has the copyright holder and the attorney submitting the notice.

3) Is it just common practice to blindly follow these notices if the format is correct? I'm all for freedom of speech, but I prefer to opt-out of any legal battles on behalf of a user utilizing my free service.

4) If I COULD notify the user, do you know of any internet source where a template "response" is available letting the user know their options - IE, they can file a response, etc, etc? Trying to draft a response, but I'm not a lawyer. Again, any boilerplate information would be greatly appreciated.

I've disabled the content, and assuming the user doesn't file a counter, how long should I hold onto the content before erasing it? If the content is disabled form public access, does it need to be erased at all?

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

To ensure that I respond to all questions, I will go line-by-line with my responses.

You posted:

1) If I remove the content, am I required to respond to the complaint (saying I removed it, etc?)? Is it possible for you to help with boilerplate language?
You are not required to respond but it is extremely important that you do--that tells the other party that you have taken their request seriously and complied with their request. it does not in any way provide an admission for liability, merely that you took their request seriously. You simply need to respond stating that you have complied with their request, and there is nothing further to state.

2) Can I put up a notice that the information was removed due to a DMCA takedown notice?
Yes, you can.

If I can locate the user who posted the content, can I forward them the complaint email?
You absolutely can do that. The reason may be to point out that if you get sued, you will turn around and sue him for your damages.

Should I not do that? The complaint has the copyright holder and the attorney submitting the notice.
It is really up to you, but informing the other user of this takedown is smart because if the copyright holder wants to push this further to subpoena records, the other party would be on notice and you would be able to claim that you are not a party to the suit.

3) Is it just common practice to blindly follow these notices if the format is correct?
It is common practice if you believe you do not have enough funds to cover the costs to defend if it gets to that point. Otherwise many can ignore the notices, generally to their detriment or if they are ready for a proverbial fight.

I'm all for freedom of speech, but I prefer to opt-out of any legal battles on behalf of a user utilizing my free service.

4) If I COULD notify the user, do you know of any internet source where a template "response" is available letting the user know their options - IE, they can file a response, etc, etc? Trying to draft a response, but I'm not a lawyer. Again, any boilerplate information would be greatly appreciated.
It is not your obligation to inform them of their options--they can obtain their own counsel for that (meant with respect, I just do not see how it would be your obligation to tell them what their next steps are).

Hope that helps.

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