Guide to Submitting a DMCA Takedown Notice

Last updated 7 months ago

This guide describes the information that GitBook needs in order to process a DMCA takedown request. If you have more general questions about what the DMCA is or how GitBook processes DMCA takedown requests, please review our DMCA Takedown Policy.

Due to the type of content GitBook hosts (mostly software code) and the way that content is managed (with Git), we need complaints to be as specific as possible. These guidelines are designed to make the processing of alleged infringement notices as straightforward as possible. Our form of notice set forth below is consistent with the form suggested by the DMCA statute, which can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office's official website: http://www.copyright.gov.

As with all legal matters, it is always best to consult with a professional about your specific questions or situation. We strongly encourage you to do so before taking any action that might impact your rights. This guide isn't legal advice and shouldn't be taken as such.

Before You Start

Tell the Truth. The DMCA requires that you swear to the facts in your copyright complaint under penalty of perjury. It is a federal crime to intentionally lie in a sworn declaration. (See U.S. Code, Title 18, Section 1621.) Submitting false information could also result in civil liability—that is, you could get sued for money damages.

Investigate. Millions of users and organizations pour their hearts and souls into the projects they create and contribute to on GitBook. Filing a DMCA complaint against such a project is a serious legal allegation that carries real consequences for real people. Because of that, we ask that you conduct a thorough investigation and consult with an attorney before submitting a takedown to make sure that the use isn't actually permissible.

Ask Nicely First. A great first step before sending us a takedown notice is to try contacting the user directly. They may have listed contact information in their content. This is not strictly required, but it is classy.

No Bots. You should have a trained professional evaluate the facts of every takedown notice you send. If you are outsourcing your efforts to a third party, make sure you know how they operate, and make sure they are not using automated bots to submit complaints in bulk. These complaints are often invalid and processing them results in needlessly taking down projects!

You May Receive a Counter Notice. Any user affected by your takedown notice may decide to submit a counter notice. If they do, we will re-enable their content within 10-14 days unless you notify us that you have initiated a legal action seeking to restrain the user from engaging in infringing activity relating to the content on GitBook.

GitBook Isn't The Judge. GitBook exercises little discretion in the process other than determining whether the notices meet the minimum requirements of the DMCA. It is up to the parties (and their lawyers) to evaluate the merit of their claims, bearing in mind that notices must be made under penalty of perjury.

Your Complaint Must ...

  1. Include the following statement: "I have read and understand GitBook's Guide to Filing a DMCA Notice." We won't refuse to process an otherwise complete complaint if you don't include this statement. But we'll know that you haven't read these guidelines and may ask you to go back and do so.

  2. Identify the copyrighted work you believe has been infringed. This information is important because it helps the affected user evaluate your claim and give them the ability to compare your work to theirs. The specificity of your identification will depend on the nature of the work you believe has been infringed. If you have published your work, you might be able to just link back to a web page where it lives. If it is proprietary and not published, you might describe it and explain that it is proprietary. If you have registered it with the Copyright Office, you should include the registration number. If you are alleging that the hosted content is a direct, literal copy of your work, you can also just explain that fact.

  3. Identify the material that you allege is infringing the copyrighted work listed in item #2, above. It is important to be as specific as possible in your identification. This identification needs to be reasonably sufficient to permit GitBook to locate the material. At a minimum, this means that you should include the URL to the material allegedly infringing your copyright. If you allege that less than a whole space infringes, identify the specific page(s) that you allege infringe. If you allege that all of the content at a URL infringes, please be explicit about that as well.

  4. Explain what the affected user would need to do in order to remedy the infringement. Again, specificity is important. When we pass your complaint along to the user, this will tell them what they need to do in order to avoid having the rest of their content disabled. Does the user just need to add a statement of attribution? Do they need to delete certain part of their contents, or entire pages? Of course, we understand that in some cases, all of a user's content may be alleged to infringe and there's nothing they could do short of deleting it all. If that's the case, please make that clear as well.

  5. Provide your contact information. Include your email address, name, telephone number and physical address.

  6. Provide contact information, if you know it, for the alleged infringer. Usually this will be satisfied by providing the GitBook username associated with the allegedly infringing content. But there may be cases where you have additional knowledge about the alleged infringer. If so, please share that information with us.

  7. Include the following statement: "I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above on the infringing web pages is not authorized by the copyright owner, or its agent, or the law. I have taken fair use into consideration."

  8. Also include the following statement: "I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in this notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner, or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed."

  9. Include your physical or electronic signature.

How to Submit Your Complaint

The fastest way to get a response is to send an email notification to support@gitbook.com. You may include an attachment if you like, but please also include a plain-text version of your letter in the body of your message.

If you must send your notice by physical mail, you can do that too, but it will take substantially longer for us to receive and respond to it. Notices we receive via plain-text email have a much faster turnaround than PDF attachments or physical mail. If you still wish to mail us your notice, our physical address is:

GitBook, Inc
23 rue Paul Montrochet
69002 Lyon, France