We know the Digital Millenium Copy Act (DMCA) takedown experience is unpleasant for our creators. To provide as much transparency as possible to our community, we’ve compiled answers to the most frequent questions we get regarding copyright strikes.
- What is a copyright strike?
- How do I avoid getting copyright strikes?
- How do I have a copyright strike removed?
- Where can I see the strikes on my account?
- I had a license to use the content in my video. What can I do?
- What happens if I get too many strikes?
- Why is Vimeo threatening me with account termination after getting two strikes?
- I have two strikes and don't want my account disabled. Can I get a grace period to review my videos?
- Why am I getting a strike now for a video I uploaded years ago?
- I have one or more strikes but I never received notifications of them.
- The number of claims on my DMCA notices page doesn’t match the number of strikes. Why is that?
What is a copyright strike?
When Vimeo removes a video in your account in response to a DMCA takedown notice, Vimeo records a “copyright strike” against your account. We keep track of copyright strikes as part of our Repeat Infringer Policy.
How do I avoid getting copyright strikes?
The best way to avoid claims of copyright infringement is to be extremely careful with the videos you upload. Make sure that they do not include any material that you don’t have all the necessary rights and permissions for, including any applicable music licenses.
You should also review all your uploads and fully delete any that might have copyright issues.
If you are using music and you have a license for it, consider proactively reaching out to your licensors and asking them to whitelist your account from enforcement efforts on their behalf.
How do I have a copyright strike removed?
Vimeo will remove a copyright strike only if one of the following occurs:
- The claimant who filed the DMCA notice withdraws the notice; or
- You successfully challenge the DMCA notice through our counter-notification process.
Outside of these occurrences, we cannot ignore or set aside a copyright strike. Vimeo is legally required to maintain and implement a policy for dealing with accounts of repeat infringers. Part of this policy includes assigning a strike for all unopposed claims of copyright infringement.
Whether or not the videos are currently available is irrelevant when it comes to the Repeat Infringer Policy. If there is an unresolved claim of copyright infringement against your account, we need to assign a corresponding strike so that we can remain in compliance with the DMCA.
Where can I see the strikes on my account?
If your account has any copyright strikes, you can view them here (this link won't work if you don't have any). You may click on each DMCA claim to see further information about it.
I had a license to use the song/content in my video. What can I do?
As a platform for user-generated content, the DMCA requires us to remove videos whenever the copyright owner (or their agent) sends us a formal takedown notice. However, there may be cases where the copyright owner or their agent is unaware of the fact that the uploader actually has a proper license and is sharing their own work (e.g. a filmmaker).
When that happens, the DMCA provides a remedy in the form of a formal counter-notification. You can submit your counter-notification using our online form.
The other option would be to contact the claimant and share a copy of your license with them. In many cases, they are willing to withdraw their claim against you if you can provide them with documentation of your license. We provide the contact details of the claimant in every strike notification that we send, but we are always happy to provide more information if you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or click this link.
Keep in mind that a license to use another work in your own work is typically not the same license you get when you purchase a song from an online music store (e.g. iTunes).
What happens if I get too many strikes?
Vimeo will disable the accounts of any users who receive three (3) copyright strikes. You can learn more about our Repeat Infringer Policy here.
Why is Vimeo threatening me with account termination after getting two strikes?
Accounts that accrue three (3) strikes are shut down under our legally mandated Repeat Infringer Policy. This happens automatically as soon as the strike count hits three, without exception.
We want to help you avoid that. In addition to emails, we implemented an aggressive onsite notification to make sure that users who have two copyright strikes are aware of all the details and have the information they need to make sure their account is not disabled. This process is detailed here.
We aren't trying to threaten you, but we do want you to be aware of the possibility of losing your account so that you can take the necessary steps to make sure that never happens.
The best way to make sure that your account is not disabled for a third strike is to make sure that no further claims of copyright infringement are filed. Review all of your videos and fully delete any that could potentially be infringing on a copyright. As long as Vimeo does not receive any more takedown notices for the material you have uploaded, your account should be safe.
I have two strikes and don't want my account disabled. Can I get a grace period to review my videos?
Unfortunately, because infringement claims come from third parties, we have no knowledge of or control over when or if they are sent, so we can't provide any assurances that a new takedown notice won't come in while you are still reviewing.
Your best bet for avoiding future strikes would be to review your existing videos and fully delete any that might present copyright issues.
We can appreciate that having to review lots of old videos isn't fun, but we are not able to offer temporary exemptions or grace periods when it comes to our legally mandated Repeat Infringer Policy.
Why am I getting a strike now for a video I uploaded years ago?
No matter how long ago it was uploaded, every video that you upload and maintain on our platform is subject to the notice and takedown provisions of the DMCA.
We can appreciate that it's frustrating to have a video removed after it has been on the platform for an extended time, but we have no discretion when it comes to the timing of the claim being filed or our removal obligations under the law.
I have one or more strikes but I never received notifications of them.
It’s important that you keep the email address on your account up to date so that we can communicate with you. We will never delete videos or disable your account without providing a detailed email notice.
These automatic emails are sent to the email address registered to the account from email@example.com and have the subject line "Your Vimeo video has been removed for copyright infringement."
We have seen rare cases where these emails fail to deliver due to certain email clients having aggressive filters in place, but this does not exempt someone from our legally mandated Repeat Infringer Policy.
The last thing we want is for users to be taken by surprise. To that end, we also send an onsite message and aggressive onsite notification for users with two strikes.
The number of claims on my DMCA notices page doesn’t match the number of strikes. Why is that?
There are times when multiple videos may only count as a single strike for the purpose of our repeat infringer policy, for example when multiple takedowns come in on the same day or in a short period of time.