Sending a DMCA Counter-Notification
While copyright infringement is a growing problem, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act serves to combat it, also rampant is the abuse of the DMCA and countless false DMCA takedown notices are sent everyday. This may be done knowingly, by a competitor, to interfere with competitors. Alternatively, it could be an honest mistake by an overzealous copyright holder. In both cases, such false takedown notices are a problem, and an annoyance, to honest webmasters, and, as such, provisions are made under the DMCA for counter-notifications.
Please note, when a takedown notice is received, you must take down the alleged copyrighted work until your return your counter notification. Once you have done so you can replace it until the accuser pursues his, or her, case in court.
When writing your counter-notification you need to state that you will accept lawsuit from the parties sending the take down notice. Doing so will absolve your ISP of all blame and prevent their taking further action against your website. You must further specify your reason for sending a counter notification. This could be because the material is not copyrighted, the complainant does not hold the copyright, the copyright has expired, or because your use of the material in question is legally protected in some other way. Separately, even if the material is in violation, if the complaining party has not followed proper protocol in sending their take down notice you are perfectly within your rights to send a counter notification, providing you specify this clearly as the reason for such a reply. If no legal action is taken within ten days any modifications, or removals, made by your web host should be restored. In any event, it is unlikely that the complainant will take it any further seeing as they would have to take legal steps in a court in your jurisdiction – likely to be a costly process for them and not usually worth it, taking into consideration the relevant travel and legal expenses (unless you’re dealing with some major company). Be warned, however, that if they do decide to pursue it, and win, you may be liable for their legal expenses as well.
On that note, do not take a take down notice lightly. Check before you send a counter notification that their claims are not genuine. If you are unsure of the legality, you should either seek legal advice or consider whether the material is worth the trouble. Once you have satisfied yourself that you are in the right, however, you can proceed to send your reply and proceed as explained above. Upon sending said counter-notification you can proceed to restore the allegedly infringing content until otherwise notified.