I want to make sure my website does not infringe any copyright or intellectual property law. For that, it seem to be a good idea to enable "safe-harbour" provisions, so that any material infringing copyright can be taken down, following a notice from the copyright owner.

What account for a sufficient safe-harbour provision in a website? Is it an specific webpage within the website stating something like "if any published material infringes copyright, please let me know, and I will take it down"? Going a bit further, what account for an optimal safe-harbour provision?

2 Answers 2


There is no hard and fast policy on how to implement tools on your website to be considered compliant with the safe harbour provisions of DCMA. The most common method is to add a link to the footer of every page of your site identified as dealing with DCMA or copyright infringement. Where the safe harbour provisions come into play is that once you are made aware of copyrighted material being hosted on your site you are required to remove it within an "expedious" timeframe. Expedious has not yet been determined in a court or through the law itself but is generally defined as allowing more time that immediately but without undue delay, and a generally accepted timeframe for most types of commercial websites is within 24 hours of notice being received.

  • U.S. law centers around reasonableness. If a site acts within a reasonable period of time based upon the reasonable man, then there is no problem. As far as a link, it should be easily found and not buried. Some sites put links to take down pages high within the content area. This is reasonable. Anywhere that can be easily found by the ordinary man is recommended. The footer my not qualify for this. A sidebar is probably better. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Feb 24, 2017 at 2:16

You are overcomplicating this. In your footer have a line "Copyright problems? Contact us" and link to the contact form. If someone has a legitimate claim, the will get in touch even if you have nothing.

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