When you’ve created something that’s one-of-a-kind, you want to make sure it stays that way. If you have a copyright, sometimes you have to enforce it against those infringing on it. Sending a Cease and Desist Letter (aka Copyright Infringement Notice) is generally the first step. While the art of writing notices is generally similar to that of writing business letters, there are some differences. Beyond the standard elements, such as including your full contact details, using a formal style, and sending it using certified mail to have proof of delivery, you also need to incorporate details specific to this kind of letter. Here are the steps for writing and sending a Copyright Infringement Notice:

Get Started Start your Copyright Notice Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

1. Outline Information About the Infringement

A Copyright Infringement Notice should identify the copyrighted work or works that have been infringed on by another party. At a minimum, the letter should also identify the work that is infringing on your copyright, including any relevant details. The goal is to make it as unambiguous and straightforward as you can, and to narrow down the possible list of parties who could have infringed on your copyright. You should also include a clear statement that the information is accurate and that you are the owner of the exclusive right or are authorized to represent the person who is the owner. It’s also good practice to include a statement that says you believe in the good faith of the person who committed the infringement. We can help you create a Copyright Infringement Notice customized for your situation.

2. Send a Notice Using a Third-Party Service

The situation can be considerably easier online. Most sites that could host copyrighted material used without permission, such as YouTube or DeviantArt, have built-in functionality that allows for submitting copyright claims. Therefore, the process of sending claims is simplified in these situations, but you should use all the same elements of a traditional Copyright Infringement Notice to make the claim as complete and clear-cut as possible.

3. Keep Good Records

You should make every effort to ensure that your claim can be backed up with evidence. The most important thing is to be able to prove that your work was created before the work that’s using it without permission. Furthermore, you should keep a secure copy of all correspondence that is related to the infringement case.

DMCA Takedown Notices: An Alternative Option

Notifying the offending party isn’t the only way to enforce your rights. Since the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was passed it is also possible to contact web hosts directly to have the protected material removed. In general, these letters follow the same guidelines as a Copyright Infringement Notice but must also be signed, include a statement that you believe in “good faith” that the use of protected materials is unauthorized, and a statement that you, under penalty of perjury, guarantee that the information provided is accurate and you are the owner of the copyright or are authorized to act on the owner’s behalf.

Get Started Start your Copyright Notice Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Get Started Start your Copyright Notice Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.