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I run a website and recently had a small legal dispute with content posted by a user. A copyright owner wanted me to remove content, I acknowledged the request, requested for proof of ownership, confirmed ownership, removed the infringing content and the copyright owner left me alone.

I'm happy to remove infringing content but not sure how explicitly I should tell content owners about this. I have a contact and copyright infringment link clearly available on my website where explicit instructions are left on how to make a report.

Am I required to have a disclaimer telling users not to post copyright infringing content? I clearly do not want to be liable for such content.

I've googled some templates and explanations about this but they refer more to taking ownership of user submitted content, not removing ownership.

for reference my website is kek.host and I provide services which keep users anonymous such as text hosting, email forwarding, chatrooms.

Edit: The servers are located in the united states currently, although that changes roughly once a week and across several countries including canada, australia, russia, netherlands and a few more I'm not yet aware of.

Clarification of Question: Am I legally obligated to explicitly tell users not to upload copyright infringing or illegal content?

For example, shops don't need "Stealing is a crime" stickers, it's just implied. Do the same rules apply to me?

  • Which country are you in? – Mark Jun 18 '15 at 2:14
  • @Mark The servers are located in the united states currently, although that changes roughly once a week and across several countries including canada, australia, russia, netherlands and a few more I'm not yet aware of. – kekhost Jun 18 '15 at 3:11
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    Which country are you in? The laws involved are combination of those for the country the server is in, and those for the country that you (or the legal entity that operates the servers, if you've got some form of corporation set up) are in. – Mark Jun 18 '15 at 4:17
  • @Mark I see, the company that operates those servers is located in the united states. – kekhost Jun 18 '15 at 5:03
  • You may wish to have a look at 17 USC §512, "Limitations on liability relating to material online"; in particular, subsection (c), "Information Residing on Systems or Networks At Direction of Users" – apsillers Jun 18 '15 at 14:10
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Thank you all for the help in answering my question.

I've spoken with a lawyer through a friend of a friend and he explained that as long as I provide a way for people to make complaints about illegal or copyright infringing content and respond or make [and log] effort to investigate promptly, I'm pretty much in the clear.

In the end no disclaimer is needed, the idea that you wouldn't upload such content is already implied due to the nature of the content.

So I'm gonna add this bad-boy as the entire disclaimer and call it a day.

You Wouldn't Download A Car

Goodluck with the beta, I'm sure I'll be back here.

  • 2
    But... I would totally download a car. – Parthian Shot Jun 20 '15 at 0:09

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