Copyright and the DMCA
The creator of original material (text, images, songs, etc) has copyright over that material; this is the right to decide who can use that material, as well as where and when that use is authorized. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (or DMCA for short) is a US federal law that allows copyright holders to remove unauthorized uses of their copyrighted materials, and protects online service providers (like WordPress.com) who comply with the DMCA process from legal liability. The law is meant to provide a balanced process: copyright holders are responsible for enforcing the rights they have in their work, and online services have a legal incentive to honor all valid takedown requests.
We at Automattic strongly believe in legitimate copyright protection – and millions of original pieces of copyrighted material are posted to WordPress.com every day. At the same time, we recognize that there’s a lot of potential for abuse, especially as a way to censor legitimate criticism or ignore fair use of copyrighted materials. We work hard to make our DMCA process as fair, transparent, and balanced as possible, so we stringently review all notices we receive to quickly process valid infringement claims and push back on those that we see as abusive.
Twice per year, we publish a transparency report that, among other things, details the number of DMCA notices we receive, process, and reject on grounds of incompleteness or abuse. Check out our transparency report to learn more about how we are working to shape the future of this law.
For Our Users
You will receive an email from WordPress.com if any content is blocked on your site as a result of a DMCA takedown notice.
- Our DMCA Process – Read all about how we handle takedown notices and what it means for your site.
- Countering DMCA notices (Counter notice form) – If you disagree with the notice and believe you have rights to publish the material, you should consider filing a counter notice.
Before filing a complaint
- DMCA form – Use this form to file a DMCA notice for a WordPress.com site.
- Fair use – Not every copy of something you created is infringement. This doc explains what a legal fair use of your material is. You are required to give consideration to whether a use of material is fair before submitting a takedown notification, as a result of the decision in Lenz v. Universal.
- Trademark Policy & Form – The DMCA doesn’t apply to trademarks (such as your brand, slogan, or symbol), so if you have a complaint regarding someone’s unauthorized use of yours, please refer to our trademark policy.