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Recently I started to sell my digital items in the web and faced with the piracy.

Pirates fraud my files from the market, upload them to the file hosting services and posts the links to warez web sites.

I emailed to the file hosting companies and request them to remove the files. Also I request the file hostings and warez websites to block the users that violate the copyright low and TOS of the online services where they posts my files, because I think it's more efficient way to fight with the piracy.

I had a different value of success and now I have a several question.

When I say "I" I mean any copyright owner in my situation.


1. Have I the right to request services to block the users that violate the copyrights and TOS?

2. Have I the right to request a report from a warez site or a file hosting service about the blocked users?

3. How many time have a file hosting or a web site to block the user?

For example: I got an answer that my files was removed and if I know a user url how soon should I see that the user is banned (if such message is technically available)?

4. If I can't get a report about the blocked users how should I achieve the thieve's accounts blocks?

5. The service ignore my DMCA request – don't answers me. What should I do to proceed with removing my content?

6. The service ignore my request to user blocks – don't say "YES" nor "NO".

What should I do to proceed with the users blocks?


Thank you very much, I highly appreciate your help!

  • Generally speaking, posting multiple questions in one post is a bad idea. It isn't fair to people answering (you end up writing a whole essay) and makes the post less useful as reference material for others. However, I think your six questions boil down to one, namely 'How can I legally compel a website to block a user for copyright infringement?' – Patrick Conheady Nov 13 '16 at 11:03
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The DMCA is very simple and limited in what it does. In principle, if someone puts materials on a website that is yours, you could sue the person and the website. To make life for websites safer, and to make it easier for you to get material that is yours removed, we have the DMCA.

You send a DMCA request that must have a certain form: You must identify a work X, you must state under threat of perjury that you are the copyright holder of X or an agent working on behalf of the copyright holder, you must state that you belief the copyright is infringed by something on the website, and ask for it to be removed. There must be contact information and I may have forgotten a thing or two. You send that to the website.

If the website gets the request, they determine whether it meets all the legal requirements of a DMCA request, and if not, they can ignore it. If it meets the legal requirements, they can take down the material and tell you and tell the user who put it up, and if they do that they are legally in the clear. You can't sue them for this material anymore, and the material is gone. That's how it is supposed to work.

If the user says that he had the right to put up the material, he tells the website and they put it back, and they are still legally in the clear. They have to tell you, and then you can take the user to court. Usually this happens when you were mistaken and the work wasn't the one that you have copyright on. Or worse, if you were totally mistaken and you didn't have the copyright even though you stated under threat of perjury that you did; that means trouble.

But that's all the DMCA does. There are no provisions whatsoever that they would be required to block a user. To sue the website, you'd have to go to court and show that they intentionally and actively support users who breach copyright. And that's difficult.

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You have the right to request anything you want, but there is a very limited set of things that you can have a legal expectation of them doing. The service provider has no obligation to block a user. You can likewise request a report, and from a pirate site I would expect no response. There is no legal requirement that a pirate site block an offending user after a certain number of offenses. There is no direct way to compel a pirate site to ban a user. Indirectly you might accomplish that end if you take legal action against the site, which causes them to ban a user in order to protect themselves

If a DMCA request was not "proper" (the correct legal form) they will not perform a takedown, and may not inform you that they won't. Make sure your takedown request is legally correct and actually delivered to the correct person. If they still ignore your request, they will have lost the "safe harbor" provisions, and you can theoretically sue them. Since the pirate site presumably only hosts a link to elsewhere, their making public such a link is not itself copyright infringement, so you need to be going after the ISPs who manage the actual host sites. The pirate site might still be a contributor to infringement, along MGM v. Grokster lines. A standard defense against infringement would be "We had no idea", and ignoring DMCA takedown notices is clear proof that they did have an idea. That's basically what DMCA takedown is about: saying what it takes to use the "We had no idea" defense.

  • The providers have TOS that prohibit share a copyright content to users: "You must comply with the Laws (as defined below) with respect to your use of the Service. You agree not to post, upload to, transmit, distribute, store, create or otherwise publish through the Service any of the following: Customer Data that may infringe or violate any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, right of privacy, right of publicity or other intellectual property right or other right of any party". In our case the user violate the TOS rules and should be removed, right? – Ilya Kanatov Nov 13 '16 at 8:47
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    Terms of service are between the service provider and the customer, and can only be enforced by those parties against each other. The service provider can decide to ignore breaches. The only way terms of service are relevant to you as a third party is very indirectly, where the service provider tries to argue that their terms of service are a reasonable precaution against copyright infringement by users but then you show that they do not enforce them. – Patrick Conheady Nov 13 '16 at 11:03

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