In 1998 the United States enacted the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA updated various parts of the then current copyright laws. One such provision that was updated was the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (OCILLA). OCILLA provides a conditional safe harbor for Online Service Providers and similar “middlemen of the internet” (think content hosting sites such as Youtube, Vimeo, etc.).
While there are many different parts of the OCILLA which provide certain protections from liability, this article will focus in particular on the Takedown Provisions. The Takedown Provisions require that in order for an Online Service Provider to be able to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions, they must comply with certain notices and in particular, any Takedown Notices. These Takedown Notices act as an easy way for content owners to be able to protect their intellectual property by notifying the service provider that their intellectual property has been infringed upon.