What To Do If Someone Infringes Your Copyright on Steemit.com

I use limited amounts of other people's copyrighted material. This is not because I disrespect copyright law. I have a good faith belief that my use of copyrighted work not belonging to me is transformative and allowable under U.S. law which I am a citizen of. I would like to see a lot of reform to the U.S. copyright laws but I believe in the idea that authors should be able to protect their works for a limited amount of time and then it should go into the public domain.

Photo Source: featurepics.com

But what about others on steemit.com? The blatant copyright infringers who don't have good intentions and post derivative works without permission? What if I have used your copyrighted work in parody or commentary and you don't believe I properly followed the "fair use" doctrine? Maybe you are just a litigious rights holder and my transformative use of your intellectual property made you cry like a baby and doubt the existence of a loving God. I have an INTJ personality so that would make my day if that actually happened.

What to do?

Seeking Safe Harbors

Steemit.com is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as a service provider. The contact information for Steemit.com's DMCA Designated Agent is listed below but please read the rest of this post first because it is important information. Also, please upvote this post. I worked hard on this and U.S. law doesn't recognize the "sweat of the brow" doctrine. If you don't upvote my posts that might be a disincentive and might make me lapse into being a bad copyright infringer. Do you want that on your conscience?

DMCA “safe harbors” protects service providers (e.g. steemit.com) from monetary liability judgments based on the allegedly infringing activities of third parties (e.g. anyone who copy-pastes a news article onto their steemit.com blog). To receive these legal protections under DMCA law a service provider (in this case steemit.com) must comply with the conditions set forth in United States Code Title 17 Section 512, including “notice and takedown” procedures that give copyright owners a quick and easy way to disable access to allegedly infringing content. Too easy if you ask me but that's one man's opinion.

Also note that the DMCA "safe harbors" also has provisions allowing users (e.g. the author of this post) to challenge improper takedowns (which I have done before in the past successfully). I encourage anyone interested to read more about "safe harbors" and the DMCA on the Electronic Frontier Foundation website.

Tell It to Steemit

A sample template of a DMCA takedown notice is below. If you can afford it have an attorney help you customize your DMCA takedown notice. That's never a bad idea.

Photo Source: template.net

You should send your DMCA takedown notice in writing to Steemit's DMCA Designated Agent whose current contact information is further down on this post. Your DMCA takedown notice to steemit.com should contain:

  • A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright that is allegedly infringed.
  • Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed.
  • Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material.
  • Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.
  • A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner.
  • A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright that is allegedly infringed.

You can verify the elements listed above are accurate by going to the full text of U.S.C. Title 17 section 512 at https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/512 and looking under (3) Elements of notification.

Who is the Steemit.com Designated Agent?

This is the easy part. All service provider designated agents are listed in the DMCA Designated Agent Directory. All one has to do is go to https://www.copyright.gov/dmca-directory/ and click on "search the Directory". Type the word "steemit" in the search box on the next page. Only one listing for Steemit, inc. should show up in the search results. Click on that and...Bingo! There's the contact information in the image below. So simple even someone such as myself can do it.

Please note: This might be outdated if you are reading this in the future so double check https://www.copyright.gov/dmca-directory/ for the most current contact information. 

I hope this helps. Remember that I am on your side and you want it to stay that way.

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