What is a DMCA Counter-Notice?

U.S. Federal Law

What is a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Counter-Notice?

The owner of the USA hosted website who you have alleged is infringing copyright by serving the Internet Service Provider (ISP) with a DMCA Takedown Notice may issue a DMCA Counter-Notice claiming there has been a mistake and they dispute that the material infringes your copyright.

The Internet Service Providers (ISP) must then restore, or enable access to, the copyright material on its system or network; unless you provide notice, within 10-14 business days of receiving the DMCA Counter-Notice, that you or your agent have commenced legal proceedings seeking a Court order to restrain the activity that is claimed to be infringing.

The form of the DMCA Counter-Notice is suggested by the DMCA statute, which can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office's official website: https://www.copyright.gov.

This means that you will need to issue legal proceedings if you want the material to be permanently removed.

It will then be up to the Court to determine whether the publishing of the material on the website is an infringement of copyright or whether there is a valid defence to the claim of infringement of copyright.

Important: If the website can prove that your DMCA Takedown Notice was unfounded then you may be liable for damages or other civil penalties.

Please also be aware that it is a Federal Crime to swear a false statement of good faith in a DMCA Takedown Notice (please refer to the minimum requirements above regarding making your statements under penalty of perjury).

Therefore, we strongly recommend you always have a USA Attorney review your DRAFT before you decide whether to proceed.


This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a practising USA Attorney for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.