Responsive. Diligent. Effective.

Safe harbor and takedown notices

On Behalf of | Apr 13, 2022 | Trademarks and Copyrights

In New York, protecting one’s intellectual property is a fundamental part of maintaining and growing a business. Since the basics are often changing, this can be a complex area that many business owners are unaware of how to navigate. For example, if an entity owns a copyright and it is infringed upon, it can do significant damage. The internet has drastically changed how business is done and altered the landscape to the point where copyright owners must be vigilant and act when they believe there has been a violation. This is when it is important to know about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the provision known as Section 512.

Understanding section 512 of DMCA

As the internet gained popularity, lawmakers became keenly aware of how creators’ rights were put in jeopardy at the click of a button, and so they passed the DMCA. Section 512 is one part of the law, and set up something known as the Safe Harbors and the Notice-and-Takedown System. With it, copyright owners can call for any content on the internet that infringes on their copyright to be removed and they do not need litigation to do so.

It also shielded online service providers from being financially responsible if a copyright was infringed upon. This is where “safe harbors” come in. The companies are not completely devoid of responsibility. They must be agreeable when copyright holders complain about an infringement and remove it in a rapid manner once it has been established there was a legal violation. These providers must have an agent to take the notices from copyright owners and address problems as they arise. Often, this is an innocent mistake by someone who might have used an image without permission. In other instances, it is more insidious and ideas or concepts are stolen for profit by entities that had nothing to do with their creation and failed to compensate the copyright holders.

Having assistance with copyright includes understanding DMCA

While on the surface, this might appear to be a complicated concept, it is relatively straightforward and important for people to be cognizant of when they are doing business. The Internet is still relatively young and the tenets are changing seemingly by the day. Still, the essentials of trademark, copyright and other areas of intellectual property are in place. Updates like Section 512 streamline enforcement and help protect businesses. For this or any other aspect of protecting business – simple, complex or in between – having advice is vital from the outset.