I have planed to build a image sharing website like Imgur. Users can upload images and others can vote them.

The problem what I face is, what happen users upload others copyright photos? In other means how to deal with user generated content without getting any legal issues?

Will I have a legal issue because of other users uploading copyright images for my site?

If your answer is "Yes", how biggest website like Facebook, YouTube, Imgur, StackOverFlow prevent from legal copyright issues?

  • This question has been asked and answered several time already. Here are some answers. webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/86631/… webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/102922/… The second answer gives some clues. You will need to create a tack-down form that can easily be found and you actually pay attention to. You will need to respond quickly. This is how sites deal with copyright. Contact a lawyer.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 17:03
  • @closetnoc Thanks for the links. I got some idea from them, But I think my question is little bit different for them. My issue is user generate content. How to handle them? What happen user upload other copyrights content/photo? If anyone can report it, I can delete. But how much time will I have to remove them after getting reports? Or whatever I do, will I have legal issues because of user generate content? Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 3:49
  • 1
    Create a separate contact page for DMCA complaint and give high priority to solve it. And use auto reply message, so the reporter can believe he/she will get reply soon. Copyright owner don't go directly to court, it also cost them, so they always first contact you then fill DMCA complaint and if no action is done by you, then they will take legal action.
    – Goyllo
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 4:36
  • @Goyllo is perfectly right. I probably have an answer some place. Just make it easy to create a take down notice on the site, respond quickly, and assume the complaint is correct. You will not be sued and any DCMA complaint will ultimately fall flat when you cooperate. You will be okey dokey! Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 4:50
  • Thanks both @closetnoc and @ Goyllo. If anyone can put comments to answer, then I can accept it. Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 5:10

1 Answer 1



In the United States, they are protected from copyright issues by a law that makes it so content creators cannot sue these websites. They have to sue the uploader.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act creates a “safe harbor” for these companies, but also places a responsibility on them. If the content owner complains that their works are on Facebook, YouTube or who ever, that website has to remove it. This is called a DMCA takedown notice. As long as they continue to follow that requirement, you cannot sue them.

Other countries have followed suit and more or less copies that law, so most Western nations now require takedowns upon notification and limit lawsuits to targeting the actual uploader.


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