Help! My Video Has Been Stolen!

By on October 22, 2012

You make a video in hopes of generating some revenue from it by submitting it to sites like MetaCafe, Revver, or only to find out a few days later someone has stolen a copy of it and posted it on YouTube, or Myspace, hundreds of thousands of people all watching your video and you get nothing for it. All that hard work down the drain! This article is going to show you a few ways to save what you can from video theft. Just keep in mind there is NO way to prevent it, only try and recoup some losses, and get the stolen video removed from sites you didn’t submit it to.

Things You Should Do First

  1. When you shoot your video, if at all possible you should gain some pre and post footage, of the area you are in, yourself, and objects in the video, this part should be kept and NOT posted online, you may need it later as proof of ownership of your video.
  2. Take some high quality digital images of your “set” with you in them, with the objects, this can be done before or after you shoot your video, just make sure that you have them.
  3. Post your URL or a watermark in the video for the ENTIRE LENGTH of your video, (stolen videos can be cut and have the beginnings and endings removed. It’s important you create at least a blog where you can place revenue generating advertisements on it. Don’t make the your URL on the video to intrusive, but still viewable on 340×280 resolutions. Subtitle size is usually good. This way if your video IS stolen, you can try to recoup your revenue losses with traffic to your site. (Watermarking and Subtitling features are available in just about every video editing program available)

Get Your Video Out There

  1. Upload your video to the main sites that are going to give you money for it, within the next couple of days submit it to other revenue sharing sites.
  2. If a site such as MetaCafe allows you to gain revenue from your video being embedded on other sites, make sure you get out there and embed all you can, it’s not only free for you to do, but saves you from having to police those sites for stolen copies of your video.

HELP! My Video Has Been Stolen!

Your checking your email, reading some forums and someone posts a link to a cool video, but wait, it’s yours and NOT where you posted it, it’s on Joe Schmoes MySpace page, and you’re not getting a penny for it! Hopefully you have followed the rules above, and you have some proof to get these sites to remove your copyrighted content. If not there’s still hope, however it may take longer or be harder.

  1. The first thing that you want to do is send a Cease & Desist (also known as a Takedown) email to the site that contains your stolen video, if you have followed some of the recovery tips above send the email from your email account that corresponds with URL you subtitled in your video.
  2. Make sure to include your evidence in the email with your Cease & Desist, this will speed up the process of playing email tag with the companies legal or copyright department.

Sample Cease & Desist Letter

To Whom It May Concern,

It has been brought to my attention that your site is displaying a video that I own the copyright to. The name of the video involved is “[Video Title on Offenders Site]”. It appears on a site operated by you at [Link to Stolen Video]. I have reserved all rights to this work, which was first published on [Link to Original site you uploaded to] in [Date of Original Publication].

Your copying and or use of my work, which appear at the link above, is unauthorized. You neither asked for nor received permission to use the piece nor to make or distribute copies of them in the manner you have. Further, such copyright infringement is a direct violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and International Copyright Law.

I demand that you immediately cease the use and distribution of the work and all copies of it, and that you desist from this or any other infringement of my rights in the future.

If I have not received proof of compliance from you within 72 hours, I shall consider taking the full legal remedies available to rectify this situation including contacting my lawyer and/or your site’s administrators.

Attached to this email you will find additional forms of proof of ownership to this video including but not limited to: High Quality images or scenes, items, and people, in this video, Whois information of the URL listed in the Video, as well as pre and post roll footage of this video.


[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[Your Email]
[Your Phone]

After sending this letter, please allow at least 2 business days for a response, if no response has been recieved, then it is time to start calling, faxing, and /or print and snail mail this letter to them. Below you will find some information on how and where to submit this letter to some of the more popular sites where the most damage can be done.

YouTube offers a Content Verification Program in which you can signup for fill out some forms and make reporting copyright violations very easy, if you produce a large amount of videos I highly recommend you sign up for the program, it will make life easier.

DMCA Complaints
YouTube, Inc.
1000 Cherry Ave.
Second Floor
San Bruno, CA 94066
Fax: 650.872.8513

Copyright Violation information can be found here your letter here

Google Video:
Google, Inc.
Attn: Google Legal Support, Video DMCA Counter Notification
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043or fax to: (650) 963-3299
Attn: Google Legal Support, DMCA Counter NotificationMore information:

By mail
Copyright Agent
c/o Yahoo! Inc.
701 First Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
By phone (408) 349-5080
By fax(408) 349-7821
By email copyright@yahoo-inc.comPlease note that, due to security concerns, attachments cannot be accepted. Accordingly, any notification of infringement submitted electronically with an attachment will not be received or processed.


MSN Videos (Microsoft) notification must be submitted to the following Designated Agent:Service Provider(s): Microsoft Corporation; The Microsoft Network, LLC; MSNBC Interactive News, LLC; MSBET, LLC; LinkExchange, Inc.; WebTV Networks, Inc.
Name of Agent Designated to Receive Notification of Claimed Infringement:
J.K. Weston
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052
Telephone Number of Designated Agent: (425) 703-5529
Fax Number of Designated Agent: (425) 936-7329
Email Address of Designated Agent:

Dailymotion’s Copyright Agent for notice of claims of copyright infringement on its site can be reached as follows:
Copyright Agent

Please feel free to post comments adding to the list

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