DMCA: Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Linden Lab will respond to allegations of copyright violations in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA provides a process for a copyright owner to give notification to an online service provider concerning alleged copyright infringement. When a valid DMCA notification is received, the service provider responds under this process by taking down the offending content. On taking down content under the DMCA, we will take reasonable steps to contact the owner of the removed content so that a counter-notification may be filed. On receiving a valid counter-notification, we generally restore the content in question, unless we receive notice from the notification provider that a legal action has been filed seeking a court order to restrain the alleged infringer from engaging in the infringing activity.

Please note that these notifications and counter-notifications are real-world legal notices provided outside of the Second Life environment. Linden Lab may provide copies of such notices to the participants in the dispute or third parties, at our discretion and as required by law - the privacy policy for Second Life does not protect information provided in these notices.

To File a Notification

A written notification must be made. This can be done either by fax or written letter (regular mail or courier). Emails will not be accepted unless a prior arrangement has been made. The notification must:

  1. Identify in sufficient detail the copyrighted work that you believe has been infringed upon (i.e., describe the work that you own).
  2. Identify the in-world item that you claim is infringing on your copyright, and provide information reasonably sufficient to locate the item in-world. For example "The allegedly infringing work I am referring to is located on the map area labeled 'Freelon, 104,30,56'."
  3. Provide a reasonably sufficient method of contacting you; phone number and email address would be preferred.
  4. (Optional) Provide information, if possible, sufficient to permit us to notify the user(s) who posted the content that allegedly contains infringing material. You may also provide screenshots or other materials that are helpful to identify the works in question. (This is for identification only, not to "prove" substantive claims.)
  5. Include the following statement: "I have good faith belief that the use of the copyrighted materials described above and contained on the service is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or by protection of law."
  6. Include the following statement: "I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed."
  7. Sign the paper

Please note: The DMCA provides that you may be liable for damages (including costs and attorneys fees) if you falsely claim that an in-world item is infringing your copyrights. We recommend contacting an attorney if you are unsure whether an in-world object is protected by copyright laws.

Send the written document to the designated Copyright Agent at Linden Research:

Linden Research, Inc.
Attn: Designated Copyright Agent
945 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

Alternatively, fax the document to (415)520-9660. On the cover sheet, please write ATTN: DMCA NOTIFICATION

To file a counter-notification:

  1. List the in-world items that were removed by the Second Life administrators, and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed. Please identify the object in sufficient detail, and when possible, the UUID.
  2. Provide your name, address, telephone number, email address (if available).
  3. State that you consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which you reside (or San Francisco, California if your address is outside of the United States).
  4. State that you will accept service of process from the person who provided notification to us of the alleged infringement or an agent of such person.
  5. State the following: "I swear, under penalty of perjury, that I have a good faith belief that the material identified above was removed or disabled as a result of a mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled."
  6. Sign the paper.

Send the written document to the designated Copyright Agent at Linden Research:

Linden Research, Inc.
Attn: Designated Copyright Agent
945 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

Alternatively, fax the document to (415)520-9660. On the cover sheet, please write ATTN: DMCA COUNTER-NOTIFICATION

FAQ

How do I make a DMCA notification or counter-notification?
Please follow the instructions above precisely, including only the enumerated information. Inclusion of any information beyond the specifically required information and optional information listed above could significantly impede review of your attempted notification. You may find it simplest to cut-and-paste the numbered items above and use them as headings for the information you are submitting.
How does Linden Lab determine who "wins" and "loses"?
Linden Lab does not adjudicate the substance of the copyright claim: we do not declare winners and losers. Your copyright in an item is determined in the real world, by real-world processes including the DMCA. The DMCA process allows users of an online service to resolve copyright disputes using the adjudication systems available in the real world.
Can I submit my notices over email?
Unfortunately, email addresses posted on public website pages quickly become the target of spam, making it difficult to review legitimate communications. Please submit information as requested above; if digital files are necessary to identify materials in question, we can make arrangements for digital delivery.
Can I sign notifications and counter-notifications with my Second Life avatar name?
We will not accept notices that are not signed by a real legal person. The DMCA process is a real-world process with real-world ramifications.
I don't agree with the required statements. Do I have to state these things?
We will not accept notices under the DMCA that do not include the statements required by the DMCA.
Can you change the DMCA process?
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is federal law, passed by the United States Congress. Linden Lab does not have the power to change congressional acts.
Why is Linden Lab imposing liability for damages for false claims of copyright infringement?
The liability for damages for false claims is a provision of the DMCA, which was not written by Linden Lab. Note that these damages and legal fees can be significant, for example http://www.onlinepolicy.org/action/legpolicy/opg_v_diebold/.
Can Linden Lab give me legal advice concerning my claim?
Linden Lab cannot provide legal advice to you. If you are uncertain about any legal issues, you are well-advised to obtain the services of a competent legal professional.
Do you terminate accounts based on DMCA claims?
If Linden Lab believes that a user of Second Life is continually abusing the DMCA process, either with filings that appear to be without basis, or by continually re-posting content that is the subject of valid DMCA notifications, we may exercise our right to terminate the abusing party's account. Keep in mind though, that Linden Lab's actions still do not determine the substantive outcome of copyright disputes. Copyright matters are real-world rights, governed by real-world systems.
Where can I find more information about the DMCA and other copyright laws?
There are many available resources on the Internet. Linden Lab is not responsible for the content provided by these other resources, but we have found the following to be informative:

A summary of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act can be found at:
http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf

The text of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act can be found here:
http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/hr2281.pdf

The U.S. federal copyright code is here:
http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html

More government-provided information on copyrights can be found here:
http://www.copyright.gov

Many universities maintain useful public information regarding copyrights, including:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/index.php/Copyright
http://fairuse.stanford.edu/