Are DMCA Services Really Worth It?

The Digitial Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) was originally crafted in 1998, and the first paragraph of the official DMCA Wikipedia states that “it implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM). It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet.”

In short, the DMCA was created to protect creators from copyright infringement on the internet mainly, but not limited to.There’s an unfathomable amount of content on the internet, both surface and deep, and within it there’s a lot of piracy and copyright infringement that goes on. This is definitely the case when it comes to 18+ content creators and live performers. There content has been shared and redistributed without rightful consent. And this is where DMCA.com comes in to try to protect creators from these infringements by implementing the infamous DMCA takedown procedures.

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But, can DMCA.com really stop people from pirating your content? And can they takedown all content that’s yours that others have reused without your permission? Is it worth the money to go pro with DMCA.com? We looked into this a bit and have answers for these questions. Let’s take a look at these questions one at a time.

1: Can DMCA.com really stop people from pirating your content

In short, no they cannot. The DMCA acts as a reactionary measure as opposed to a preventative measure. It;s only after the fact that they can take action. Despite all the technology behind their takedown procedures, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to catch everything. Why, because there are too many layers they cannot reach. For example, if someone downloads your video and stores it on their computer and uploads it to the internet at a later date, sure DMCA.com might catch that unauthorized upload. But what if that person uploaded it to 10, 15 or 20 different outlets. Even if all of them are successfully taken down by DMCA.com, it would take a long time to get all of it. Now what if someone else downloads that re-uploaded content. Now you’ve got 2 people potentially redistributing your stolen content. In the real world, this happens in the thousands.

So don’t lose sleep over this. The best we can say is to put up all the guards you can, but someone, somewhere, some how can and will capture your content and maybe even re-upload it. It happens all the time.

2: Can DMCA.com takedown all content that’s yours that others have reused without your permission?

The DMCA of 1998 is largely American, and applies to America or any other site or country that decides to join and implement the DMCA. There are, however, may domain names, hosting platforms and companies and countries that could care less about the DMCA, and therefore sites that fall within the region outside of the DMCA are not bound by the rules of the Act. These are known as DMCA Exempt. Even if DMCA.com implements a takedown procedure, these sites are not obligated by law or by any means to comply. This becomes tricky, and there’s nothing one can really do except ask them to remove the copied content, or work out some kind of deal with them so that both you and them can end up winning in the end.

3: Is it worth the money to go pro with DMCA.com?

Well, it depends on how much value you put on your content. If you are strict about protecting your online brand then yes, spend the $10USD a month or the $199USD for the takedown service. But keep in mind that if the site your work is copied on is DMCA exempt, you may need to find alternate methods to try to take legal action, which can get quite pricey, and take up quite a bit of your time. So weigh the options you have and see if going through the long haul process is truly worth it.

We stumbled across whoishostingthis.com and found that they have a fairly comprehensive write up about the DMCA and DMCA.com

Conclusion

In the end, the internet is a big wide, deep world, and there is no 100% fireproof way of securing your content. Once it’s online, anything is possible. Some quick things you can do is to have:

  • scattered watermarks at random points of your video, or image.
  • a DMCA protection badge on your site. This serves as a mere warning, but surprisingly deters a lot of people causing them to think twice.
  • seek real legal advice and options

It’s said that copying one’s work is a form of flattery. And though it can be fucking annoying and upsetting, try not to lose your cool and take the actions you see necessary. You can find out more about DMCA.com‘s services on their website. Good luck.

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