Photo Attorney Receives a DMCA Take Down Notice! – Updated

As a photographer, author, and copyright attorney, I’ve prepared and sent for myself and on my clients’ behalf many DMCA Take Down Notices.  I also am always careful to honor the copyrights of others!

So you can imagine my surprise when I received an email from Go Daddy today stating that someone had reported that I had infringed his copyright.  So Go Daddy took down my entire wildlife photography website normally located at www.vividwildlife.com!  The most amazing thing is the infringer identified my photos as his (one of which placed in a national photo contest) and claimed that my website infringed my images!

Go Daddy’s email stated (I’ve removed the person’s name who complained, in the hopes that this is just a mistake!):

Dear Carolyn Wright,

We are writing to inform you that we have received a complaint alleging that copyright infringement is taking place on your site VIVIDWILDLIFE.COM. It appears that the website contains material being copied, reproduced, or otherwise displayed without the consent of the owner/copyright holder.Infringing on the copyrights of others is a violation of the Go Daddy Hosting Services agreement (http://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/legal_agreements/show_doc.asp?pageid=HOSTING%5FSA ), as well as the Domain Name Registration Agreement (http://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/legal_agreements/show_doc.asp?pageid=REG%5FSA ).We have included the original complaint we received regarding this matter (below) to help you identify the problem.This notification was submitted pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and Go Daddy’s Copyright and Trademark Infringement Policy. Please review Go Daddy’s Copyright Policy found at https://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/legal_agreements/copyright_trademark.asp.In accordance with this policy, as well as your hosting agreement, we have suspended this hosting account until this matter can be resolved, or until you submit a complete counter notification as described in the policy.

PLEASE NOTE: As a web hosting provider, it is not our position to act as the arbiter of intellectual property disputes or to judge who is right or wrong in a claim of infringement. We are a neutral party in this matter and at no point in this matter will we attempt to determine who, if anyone, is right or wrong. Please understand that we are not a court, nor do we have the ability or jurisdiction to determine potential fault in this case. As a result, with the exception of the above-mentioned counter notification, there is no need to send further dispute claims on this matter.A list of the specific portions of your site in question is included below. For detailed questions, you will need to contact the Complainant at the address listed below. Description of the Infringement(s) SEE NOTIFICATION BELOW Complainant: SEE NOTIFICATION BELOW

In order to resolve this situation and re-activate your site, you have 2 options.

Option 1: Remove the content that is the subject of the copyright complaint.In order to reactivate the site in question we will need you to provide the following information in a single email response:   A. An electronic signature. (This can be a scanned copy of your physical signature, or as simple as typing your full name.)   B. Identification of the material in question.   C. A statement, under penalty of perjury, that the material has either been removed or promptly will be removed.

Option 2: Submit a complete counter notification regarding the works in question in accordance with our Copyright Infringement policy. You will need to reply via email and include all of the following elements:   A. An electronic signature. (This can be a scanned copy of your physical signature, or as simple as typing your full name.)   B. Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled.   C. A statement 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.   D. Your name, address, and telephone number, and a statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for the judicial district of Arizona, or if your address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which Go Daddy may be found, and that you will accept service of process from the Complaining Party or an agent of such Party.

If you have any further questions, please let us know.

Thank you,Beatrice

Copyright Claims Department

GoDaddy.com

CopyrightClaims@GoDaddy.com

——–ORIGINAL NOTE———–Subject: [FWD: Copyright Claim]

From:abuse@godaddy.com

Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 06:53:13 -0700

To:copyrightclaims@godaddy.com

——- Original Message ——–Subject: Copyright Claim

From: XXXXXXXXXX Date: Tue, November 15, 2011 5:38 pm

To: abuse@godaddy.com,  /To the Godaddy Hosting Company:/

/ I am the copyright owner of the photographs being infringed at: http://www.vividwildlife.com/Alaska.htm//. Copies of the photographs being infringed are included to assist with their removal from the infringing websites. /http://a.img-dpreview.com/Articles/Files/1999431312/image6.jpg?v=1226  http://a.img-dpreview.com/Articles/Files/1999431312/image7.jpg?v=1226/

This letter is official notification under the provisions of Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) to effect removal of the above-reported infringements. I request that you immediately issue a cancellation message as specified in RFC 1036 for the specified postings and prevent the infringer, who is identified by its web address, from posting the infringing photographs to your servers in the future. Please be advised that law requires you, as a service provider, to “expeditiously remove or disable access to” the infringing photographs upon receiving this notice. Noncompliance may result in a loss of immunity for liability under the DMCA. //I have a good faith believe that use of the material in the manner complained of here is not authorized by me, the copyright holder, or the law. The information provided here is accurate to the best of my knowledge. I swear under penalty of perjury that I am the copyright holder. /

/Please send me at the address noted below a prompt response indicating the actions you have taken to resolve this matter./

/Sincerely,/XXXXXXXXXX/Email: XXXXXXXXXX


If you need further assistance with this matter, please reply to this email and reference [Incident ID: 13378292].

Regards,
Copyright Claims

In response, I replied to Go Daddy’s email and stated as follows:

This is my counter notification regarding the works in question in accordance with your Copyright Infringement policy. Following are the required elements to reinstate my website in full.The material that has been removed is my entire website atwww.vividwildlife.com, specifically including

http://www.vividwildlife.com/Alaska.htm.

I swear under penalty of perjury that I 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.My name is Carolyn E. Wright.  My address is PO Box 430, Glenbrook, NV, 89413, and my phone number is XXXXXXXXX.  I consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for the judicial district of Arizona and I will accept service of process from the Complaining Party or an agent of such Party.

Signed: /s/ Carolyn E. Wright

I’m not pleased that I have to consent to jurisdiction of Arizona, but if the complainer files suit, I will ask for costs of court for fighting this!  I’ve left voice mail messages and sent email messages to the guy who filed this.  I hope that he responds soon!

It’s a strange world!

UPDATE!  The complainant contacted me and apologized for the mistake.  He withdrew the claim and Go Daddy promptly reinstated my site.  It was an interesting experience, but all is well!

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