Guide to Submitting a DMCA Counter Notice
This guide describes the information that Netlify needs in order to process a counter notice to a DMCA takedown request. If you have more general questions about what the DMCA is or how Netlify processes DMCA takedown requests, please review our DMCA Takedown Policy.
If you believe your content on Netlify was mistakenly disabled by a DMCA takedown request, you have the right to contest the takedown by submitting a counter notice. If you do, we will wait 10-14 business days after receipt of your counter-notice and then re-enable your content unless the copyright owner initiates a legal action against you before then (and notifies us of it). Our counter-notice form, set forth below, is consistent with the form suggested by the DMCA statute, which can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office’s official website: http://www.copyright.gov.
As with all legal matters, it is always best to consult with a professional about your specific questions or situation. We strongly encourage you to do so before taking any action that might impact your rights. This guide isn’t legal advice and shouldn’t be taken as such.
Before You Begin
- Be Truthful. The DMCA requires that you swear to your counter notice under penalty of perjury. It is a federal crime to intentionally lie in a sworn declaration. (See U.S. Code, Title 18, Section 1621.) Submitting false information could also result in civil liability—meaning you could incur a financial penalty.
- Investigate. Submitting a DMCA counter notice can have real legal consequences. If the complaining party disagrees that their takedown notice was mistaken, they might decide to file a lawsuit against you to keep the content disabled. You should conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations made in the takedown notice and probably talk to a lawyer before submitting a counter notice.
- You Must Have a Good Reason to Submit a Counter Notice. In order to file a counter notice, you must have, and state under penalty of perjury that you have “a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled.” (U.S. Code, Title 17, Section 512(g)). Whether you decide to explain why you believe there was a mistake is up to you and your lawyer, but you do need to identify a mistake before you submit a counter notice.
- Copyright Laws Are Complicated. Sometimes a takedown notice might allege infringement in a way that seems odd or indirect. Copyright laws are complicated and can lead to some unexpected results. For example:
• A copyright complaint might be based on non-literal copying of design elements present on your site, rather than the content itself—in other words, they think your design looks too similar to theirs.
• Since there are many nuances to the law and some unsettled questions in these types of cases, it is especially important to get professional advice if the infringement allegations do not seem straightforward.
- Your Counter Notice May Be Published. As noted in our DMCA Takedown Policy, we may publish your counter notice (in full or partially redacted form) at https://github.com/netlify/dmca and share takedown notices with Lumen.
- Additional Resources. If you need additional help, there are many self-help resources online. Lumen (formerly known as "Chilling Effects") has an informative set of FAQs about copyright and DMCA safe harbor. If you think you have a particularly challenging case, non-profit organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation may also be willing to help directly or refer you to a lawyer.
We Act on Counter Notices that Substantially Comply with the Following Requirements:
- Include the following statement: “I have read and understand Netlify’s Guide to Filing a DMCA Counter Notice.” We won’t refuse to process an otherwise complete counter notice if you don’t include this statement; however, we will know that you haven’t read these guidelines and may ask you to go back and do so.
- Include a statement that, under penalty of perjury, you have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of a mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled. You can use that exact language, if you’d like.
- Include a statement that you (the affected subscriber) consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which your address is located (if in the United States, otherwise the Northern District of California), and will accept service of process from the person who provided the DMCA notification or an agent of such person your contact information. You can use that exact language, if you’d like.
- Provide your contact information. You must provide your name, address, and telephone number.
- Sign, physically or electronically, the counter notice. You must sign your counter notice.
How to Submit Your Counter Notice
To be effective, takedown notices must be provided to our designated agent. Our agent can be reached at:
Attn: DMCA Agent
44 Montgomery Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, California 94104
Generally the fastest way to get a response is to send an email to the address above. You may include an attachment if you like, but please also include a plain-text version of your letter in the body of your message. If you must send your notice by physical mail, you can do that too, but it may take longer for us to receive and respond to it.
Last Updated: September 19, 2023