The process begins when a copyright holder (or someone acting on their behalf) submits a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) takedown notice to us, claiming that their content is published on That Place’s website or in a hosted region without their permission. They can submit a DMCA takedown notice via our form, email, or printed letter.
After that, here’s what happens:
1. We review the notice.
2. If the notice is complete and valid, we lock the region.
3. We notify the region / estate owner and reply to the copyright holder to let them know we’ve taken action.
4. We add a strike to the region/estate owner’s account, remove the content in-world and unlock the region if they don’t counter the notice within 10 business days.
5. If the region/estate owner believes they have rights to use the content or that the notice was submitted incorrectly, we review and process their counter notice.
6. We forward the counter notice to the alleged copyright holder who then has 10 business days to take further legal action. Should they fail to do so, the region will then be unlocked unaltered and the Estate/Region owner will receive a prorated service credit for any days their region was locked.
Step 1: We Review the Takedown Notice
When we first receive a DMCA takedown notice, we review it to confirm that all of the required elements are present. Because the DMCA is law, we cannot accept a notice that’s missing any of the pieces outlined here.
In addition to reviewing notices for completeness, we also assess their validity. Although we respect copyrights, we also support everyone’s right to use content within the boundaries afforded by the law. Specifically, we reject notices that appear to be fraudulent or where the content identified:
1. Isn’t copyrightable (for example, a person’s name).
2. Is content that the complaining party may not own the copyright for (for example, the subject of a photo isn’t necessarily the copyright owner of the photo).
3. Is fair use of copyrighted content.
Step 2: We Lock the Region
If we receive a complete and valid DMCA takedown notice, we lock the region preventing any avatars from entering it.
Step 3: We Notify the Region/Estate Owner and Reply to the Copyright Holder
Whenever we lock a region in response to a DMCA takedown notice we email the region/estate owner and provide a copy of the original complaint. We also notify the copyright holder to let them know that the allegedly infringing content has been queued for removal.
If the region/estate owner wants to unlock their region, they can respond to our support ticket notifying us to remove the offending object(s) at which point we will remove the object(s). If the entire or majority of the region is found to be in violation, a blank OAR will be loaded removing all content from the region. After one of these two remedies are executed, we will unlock the region and notify the estate/region owner that access has been restored.
Region/Estate owners cannot, under any circumstances, re-rez the allegedly infringing content. Re-rezzing content that was removed after receipt of a valid DMCA takedown notice will result in the region being terminated from That Place Amusement Grid without refund.
If the counter notice procedure is followed, we’ll restore access to the region unaltered at the appropriate time.
Step 4: We Add a Strike
We’re required by the DMCA to have a repeat infringer policy, so if a site owner doesn’t counter a complete and valid DMCA takedown notice, we add a strike to their account.
We assess strikes after 10 business days, so that no one’s region is deleted before they have a chance to review the issue and submit a valid counter notice.
Step 5: We Review and Process the Counter Notice
Sometimes a Region/Estate owner will disagree with the DMCA takedown notice, believing that they are lawfully using the content. We encourage region/estate owners to submit a counter notice if this is the case. After reviewing the counter notice for completeness, we reply to the region/estate owner and notify the copyright holder, providing them with a copy.
Step 6: We Restore the Content
In spite of the counter notice, the region cannot be unlocked because the copyright holder then has 10 business days to initiate legal proceedings against the region/estate owner to prevent them from using their content on That Place Amusement Grid. If at the end of the 10 business days, the copyright holder hasn’t initiated legal proceedings, the DMCA requires us to restore access to the region unaltered.