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  1. #1

    * DMCA, NetEnforcers and product images

    We manage and host several e-commerce retail stores. As of the past 6 months, we have been receiving non-stop DMCA complaints from NetEnforcers regarding our clients use of various "copyright material"--basically Sony, Pioneer, etc. product images that they use to display to the customer what the product is.

    It is clearly an attempt to knock out non-authorized dealers, but how do I go about dealing with these things. Why am I in the middle here, why do they not contact the client directly? They contact and threaten me to remove these images within 7 days usually. There have been so many of these requests as of late, that they do not even send them to me via mail, rather just email them to me. What kind of stupidity is this? Has anyone fought these guys and got them off their back. I just can't continue with this every day! I know these guys are just making it big off the deep pockets of Sony, etc. that couldn't care less to spend millions a year trying to take out small retailers that aren't authorized.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Dayton, Ohio
    Are these product images taken from the manufactures web site or have they been taken by the individual retailer? If they are original images then Sony, Pioneer, etc do have a copyright to enforce as they are the property of their respective company. I would suggest the retailer to shoot his own pictures or pay someone else to do that for him.
    -Mat Sumpter
    Director, Product Engagement
    Penton Media

  3. #3
    So you mean that there is no "fair use" on an image that is being shown by thousands of retailers since Sony took that picture? Even so--what can I do to get out of being the middleman and dealing with these things. I haven't charged for these issues, but I think it's time to start.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Internet / Colorado
    Quote Originally Posted by MorHost
    what can I do to get out of being the middleman

    1. Tell your clients to remove the images.
    2. Call their bluff.
    3. Get your "legal team ready" possibly...
    4. Tell your clients to remove them or leave.
    5. Tell the companies to talk to your clients and work with them. Eventually if your clients don't do what they want it will come back to you, the hosting company.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    San Jose, CA.
    Consult your lawyer.

    Failing to act in response to a DMCA takedown letter is not against the law.

    You can simply ignore it... and as bwb mentions, "Call their bluff."

    This is likely a very bad idea.

    While there is no legal requirement for you to respond to a DMCA take down notification, failure to do so removes your "safe harbor" protection, and leaves you liable and open to being charged with copyright infringement yourself.

    You should probably setup some sort of informational page similar to

    That stated... should you receive properly formed DMCA take down notifications... you should follow them. It's not worth losing your entire business because your client doesn't follow the law.

    It's not your responsibility to fight off these attacks for your client. If your client believes they are legally correct in their use of whatever is being claimed as infringing... they file a counter notice and or lawsuit. If the initial DMCA notification is found to be fraudulent the persons making the DMCA notification can be liable for any damages incurred.
    Last edited by Lightwave; 10-26-2006 at 05:40 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Summerville, SC
    I've got it in my TOS that if a DMCA is will be fowarded to the client for action, and they must keep us up to date regarding whether they just took it down, fighting it, etc...if at any time they take more than 1 week to respond until the actions are completed...their account is suspended and they are charged a reconnection fee to get it turned back on. Once they are suspended they have to contact us and work with us and the DCMA issuer until we are all satisfied everything is good to go.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    San Jose, CA.
    You might want to run that by your lawyer... I'm not sure if giving your clients 1 week to comply follows, "Once notice is given to the service provider, or in circumstances where the service provider discovers the infringing material itself, it is required to expeditiously remove, or disable access to, the material. The safe harbor provisions do not require the service provider to notify the individual responsible for the allegedly infringing material before it has been removed, but they do require notification after the material is removed."

    The claimant may not find 1 week's notice "expeditious" and still choose to sue you. Which could go bad.

    (That of course only applies to a situation where the claimed infringing material is on a server which you control and have the ability to remove.... If you're just providing a network connection to them... then the avenue of takedown would obviously differ.)
    Is an interesting read.

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