Westchester North follows a set procedure when it receives a copyright claim against any material posted by a user of the site. The procedure is as follows: An entity claiming to have their intellectual property rights infringed upon by a user’s material submits a DMCA takedown notice to the Westchester North designated copyright agent.
We review the takedown notice and, provided it is complete and valid, we expeditiously remove the material in question and subsequently notify the user of the DMCA takedown notice and the action taken on their account.
After removing the material and notifying the user we will then contact the entity who initiated the takedown notice to notify them of the removal of the content in question.
If the user does not opt to counter the notice, we will add a strike to their account (users who accumulate 3 strikes on their account will be permanently removed from Westchester North.com.
If the user believes that the DMCA takedown notice was submitted in error they may choose to submit a DMCA counter notice.
If a user submits a valid and complete DMCA counter notice, we will review it and then forward it to the original entity that filed the DMCA takedown notice.
At this point, the entity claiming infringement upon their intellectual property will have 10 days to respond to the counter notice.
If the entity claiming copyright infringement does not respond by filing a lawsuit against the user within 10 days of us submitting the counter notice to them, the content in question will be restored and both parties will be notified on this course of action.
If the entity claiming copyright infringement provides us with evidence of their taking legal action against the user posting the material in question, we will again remove the content and reinstall the strike on the user’s account.
When we receive a DMCA takedown notice, we will first review it to determine if all of the required material is present. DMCA law requires several pieces of information in order for a takedown claim to be taken into consideration. You can see these requirements on our DMCA takedown notice page.
After we determine that a takedown notice is complete we will asses its validity. We at Westchester North respect and recognize the intellectual property rights of all copyright holders, however, there are some cases where takedown notices may be invalid.
Some of these cases include: (a) The material in question is not copyrightable. This includes things like people’s names, geographical locations, and words in common use….you can’t copyright the words “book”, Stephanie, or Tahoe for example. (b) Unfortunately, a reality of the modern-day digital world is that occasionally people make claims against material that is obviously not theirs to claim rights to. There have been many recorded instances of companies and/or individuals engaging people in litigation over images they do not own the rights to. Sometimes this is done with malicious intent, which is why when cases like this happen we may reject the takedown notice. This is also part of the reason why users are afforded the opportunity to file a counter notice.
If the takedown notice is determined to be complete and valid then we will remove the material in question and notify both the user and the entity who filed the takedown notice. Users will receive a copy of the DMCA takedown notice. Users may not under any circumstances, restore the removed content unless they opt to file a DMCA counter notice. At that point, they must wait the appropriate amount of time before reinstating their content. After submitting a counter notice, the Westchester North designated copyright agent will notify users if they are able to restore the content and when it is permissible to do so. If a user reposts the content in question before following the counter notice procedure and getting permission from the site owner, they may be subject to being permanently banned from listing on Westchester North.
If the user does not submit a DMCA counter notice then a strike will be placed on their account. The DMCA requires that we have a procedure in place for handling repeat offenders. As such, we take note of copyright infringement offenders through “strikes” on their account. After any account accumulates 3 strikes, it will be permanently deactivated and the user will be permanently banned from listing on Westchester North. We delay levying a strike on a user’s account for 10 days after receipt of a complete and valid takedown notice. This gives users time to evaluate and choose their course of action.
If the user believes that a copyright claim was made in error and/or that they hold the copyright or valid permission to use the material in question, they may submit a DMCA counter notice. After receiving a counter notice, we review it for completeness. Just as DMCA law requires takedown notices to be completed with certain information, so too does it require similar information in counter notices. If we determine that a counter notice is complete we will forward it to the original entity who claimed infringement upon their intellectual property rights and notify you of this action. If your counter notice is incomplete we will notify you of this and you will have the opportunity to revise it for resubmission.
DMCA law stipulates that upon our submitting a counter notice to the entity claiming infringement, they have 10 days to notify Westchester North of their entering into legal action against the user. If after 10 days the entity claiming infringement does not indicate that they are filing a lawsuit against the user; then the content in question will be restored and any strike placed on the user’s account will be removed.
This is not to say that at this point the user is free from the threat of legal action against them. The function of the DMCA is primarily to create a process for the handling of copyright claims and to remove liability from website operators, in this case, Westchester North. These procedures are in effect to ensure that Westchester North is in compliance with DMCA laws and thereby placed in a position of limited liability for copyright infringements at the hands of its users. Completing this process ensures that Westchester North has followed through with the requirements of the DMCA and limits our liability, but it does not eliminate the possibility of the user-facing further legal action by the entity claiming copyright infringement. If you are a user who has uploaded content that has spurred a DMCA takedown notice, it would be in your best interest to consult a lawyer, especially if you are considering filing a DMCA counter notice.
All questions, concerns, and correspondences regarding copyright issues should be directed to our designated copyright agent:
The Westchester Hub
Designated Copyright Agent
40 Village Green, #667
Bedford, NY 10506