You can use Notice and Takedown procedures to request removal of unauthorised reproductions of your artistic works from websites and social media platforms


Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube or Instagram, and companies that host websites, benefit from the ‘safe harbour principle’ in EU and US law.
Safe harbour means that the website can’t be held responsible for content posted by users or other third parties, so long as the website has a mechanism in place to be notified of and remove unauthorised copies, or copyright infringements.
You can use the mechanism, known as Notice and Takedown (you send the notice and the website performs the takedown) by following the simple steps below.

The Notice 

Step one: be sure an infringement is taking place

It seems obvious, but make sure there is a genuine copyright infringement before you send the notice. It will save you time and disappointment later. More information on what may constitute an infringement of copyright can be found in our factsheet here and in our copyright uncovered article here.

Step two: collect the evidence

This can be as simple as saving screenshots of the images you’re reporting. This type of evidence can be useful later – particularly if you make a claim against those responsible for uploading the infringed material to the platform or website.

Step three: the information you need to provide when issuing your notice

Reporting to major platforms

  • Major platforms such as eBay, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube provide standard web-based forms for the submitting the notice. These forms are straightforward to complete, but it is important that all the requested information is provided to reduce the chances of having your notice rejected.

Elsewhere on the internet

  • Companies often require the notice to follow the requirements of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). If so, this will usually be specified in the company’s infringement policy. If the company requires the notice to be DMCA compliant then the notice should be in writing and include:
  • A physical or electronic signature of the copyright owner or a person authorised to act on behalf of the copyright owner.
  • Identification of the original work or works claimed to have been infringed.
  • Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringed.
  • Contact information of the complaining party.
  • A statement that the information in the notification is accurate and that under penalty of perjury the complaining party is authorised to act on behalf of the copyright owner.

  • There are online tools available for generating DMCA compliant notices. One of these can be found at Once the notice has been completed, it should be sent to the hosting company’s contact nominated for processing the notice.

Step four: where to submit your notice 

Reporting to major platforms
  • The location of standard forms for some major platforms can be found through the following links:


  • Once you have submitted the notice, the platform is responsible for responding and taking down the infringed material.
Elsewhere on the internet
  • If the hosting company does not offer a standard web form, then the notice should be prepared and sent to the hosting company’s appointed contact. They can usually be found on the company’s infringement policy (often found under the ‘terms and conditions’, ‘abuse policy’ or ‘legal’ tabs at the bottom of the home page). This contact is sometimes referred to as the ‘designated agent’ or ‘copyright agent’, but other terms may be used.

  • If the infringed material is featured on a website, the company responsible for hosting the site can usually be identified by entering the website domain name in a webhost look-up tool such as

The Takedown

When the hosting company or platform receives your notice, it will usually remove or disable access to the infringed material to avoid incurring liability for it.
It is possible, however, that the third party responsible for uploading the infringed material could dispute that the material is being infringed. If this happens then the hosting company may reinstate access to the material until the dispute is resolved with the third party.
If the third party disputes your claim of infringement, then we advise you to seek independent legal advice to consider alternative methods for enforcing your copyright. There are a number of free or low-cost legal services out there, including the UK government’s IP Pro Bono service. There is also the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, which specialises in copyright claims making it easier and more cost-effective for individuals and small businesses to settle disputes.

Support for DACS members

If you are a Copyright Licensing member, we can provide free legal support for infringements and reach a suitable settlement on your behalf.
Copyright Licensing and Artist’s Resale Right members can also use our Copyright Advice Service for help identifying and dealing with an infringement.
Sign up to become a member today:


Disclaimer: This factsheet is offered as a general guide to the issues surrounding copyright in this area. It does not represent an exhaustive account. It is not intended to offer legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. We strongly recommend you seek specialist advice for any specific circumstances