June 18th, 2015

Tips for Avoiding DMCA Copyright Notices on Your Live Stream ChannelLive streaming on your own IPTV channel puts unprecedented broadcasting freedom in the hands of more people than ever before. But, to paraphrase an old saying, with great freedom comes great responsibility.

In the case of Internet broadcasting, that responsibility means knowing the legal issues surrounding content copyright and taking steps to ensure that you comply with copyright law.

This means not using others’ creative works in your broadcast without their permission. These works could include (but are not limited to):

  • Music
  • Film or television clips
  • Artwork
  • Logos or branding
  • Photos
  • Licensed characters
  • Written content (scripts, published works, etc.)

Copyrighted works are protected from online infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This law, passed in 1998, protects copyright owners from having their material used without permission on the Internet, while also limiting the liability of Internet service providers whose subscribers infringe on copyrighted material.

TikiLIVE, a robust content delivery platform, is obligated to comply with the DMCA and promptly responds to notices that claim its subscribers are committing copyright infringement. So be sure to read our policy regarding copyright and the DMCA. If you operate a live-stream channel on the TikiLIVE platform, you need to know what this policy means, how to stay in compliance with the DMCA and what to do if you receive a DMCA notice.

How DMCA Notices Work

When copyright holders see an unauthorized use of their material online, they can send the alleged infringer’s Internet service provider written notice detailing when and where they found the unauthorized content.

These notices typically request the removal of the content from the hosting site and warn of further legal action for failing to comply. TikiLIVE’s DMCA notification guidelines require complaints to provide:

  • A description of the alleged infringing content
  • The content’s location on a TikiLIVE channel
  • A statement that the notice is being provided with the good-faith belief that the alleged infringer’s use of the content is unauthorized
  • The copyright holder’s (or agent’s) signature on the notice

Per the terms of the DMCA, TikiLIVE then promptly forwards the notice to the subscriber who allegedly posted the unauthorized material. TikiLIVE then has the discretion to take whatever action it may find appropriate to the situation, including removing the content in question from its platform and / or terminating the subscriber’s TikiLIVE account. Copyright infringement is a serious legal matter, and TikiLIVE treats it that way.

What You Can Do to Avoid Getting a DMCA Notice

Here at TikiLIVE we want our broadcasters to have a completely enjoyable and trouble-free experience sharing their content on our platform. To this end, we want to provide these suggestions to keep you from being targeted by DMCA notices:

  • Use only all-original material in your broadcasts. Write your own scripts, compose and perform your own music, create your own art for the backdrop, produce your own video clips. This really is the only 100 percent certain way to ensure that you are not infringing on anyone’s copyright.
  • Before broadcasting, review your surroundings. Listen to make sure that there is no music playing from a background source. Make sure no product or service brands or logos are visible to the camera. Ensure that there are no trademarked licensed characters (e.g., Disney characters, comic book heroes, brand or team mascots, etc.) visible in the background.
  • If you quote a written work, keep it very brief and state its title and author.
  • Use content covered under a Creative Commons license. This is a type of license that makes a creative work free to use and distribute, but allows its creator to be credited with the work and retain its copyright.

Searching CreativeCommons.org is a great way to find video, music, photos and other media that is legal for you to use under a Creative Commons license. If you use a Creative Commons-licensed work, you should attribute it to its creator in your broadcast somehow, either spoken, in a caption when it appears, or in end credits. (Also, do not use it in pay-per-view events, as Creative Commons-licensed works are only for non-commercial use.)

  • If you really, really want to use something created by someone else, get permission. Contact the creator directly or through their representation, or through the legal department for larger entities. If you have a musician friend who wrote a song you want to use, getting permission can be as simple as a verbal okay (though getting it in writing would be better). Bear in mind, though, that if you want to get permission from a publisher, music label or film studio to use work that they own the rights to, it will almost certainly be an extremely expensive proposition, if permission is even granted at all.

You may think that you can try to “sneak” unauthorized copyrighted work into your live stream because your broadcast is too small to be noticed. But here in the Internet age, nobody is too small to be noticed. Copyright holders actively patrol the internet looking for infringement. If you use something that isn’t yours online, the chances are good that you will get caught.

What to Do If You Get a DMCA Notice

Bear in mind that we are not giving you legal advice here and that you should consult a licensed attorney for actionable advice on how to proceed.

When you receive a DMCA notice, you generally have two courses of action:

  1. Comply with the directions on the notice and remove the copyrighted material from your channel, or
  2. Send a counter notice to the complaining party stating that you believe you really do have the right to use the content.

Sending a counter notice is likely to result in further legal action, so you should definitely consult a lawyer before choosing to do this.

Make It Your Own With TikiLIVE!

When you stream your channel on TikiLIVE, don’t think of DMCA requirements as a limitation; think of it as an invitation to get creative! We give you the robust content delivery infrastructure, easy-to-use broadcasting tools and ability to play back on all mobile devices and set-top boxes to make your very own mark on the IPTV world.

For more details on how TikiLIVE can put your unique vision out into the world, contact us now.

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