SUBMIT A DMCA NOTICE
Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. I am a victim,, so please consider all information as tips, not legal advice. If you have legal questions, please contact an attorney.
DMCA stands for "Digital Millenium Copyright Act." It is a federal law that deals with copyright infringement. A DMCA Notice is a letter that tells a website owner that you own the copyright to your photo. A copyright is not something that you can touch. It is a right. If you take a photo of yourself, you own the copyright to the photo. Even if you physically hand over, text, or email your picture to another person, you still own the copyright. The recipient does not own it.
Website owners are often immune to liability for the actions of third parties on their websites because of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. However, if you submit a proper DMCA notice to a website and it does not remove your photos or remove them "expeditiously," you may be able to sue the website for copyright infringement. Because websites don't want to be sued, they will usually comply with DMCA notices.
After you submit your DMCA notice to the website owner, if the website owner wants to ensure protection from liability, he must give the poster several days to file a counterclaim. If the perpetrator does not file a counterclaim, the website should keep your photos off. If the perpetrator does file a counterclaim, he is forced out of his anonymity because he must use his full, real name, address, and email address. At this point, you must show the website owner proof that you have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit within 10 days or the website may restore your photos to the website. A website owner may file a counterclaim stating a "fair use" defense. What constitutes "fair use" is ultimately determined by a court.
To attorneys: Before you file a lawsuit for copyright infringement, you should ensure that your client has registered her photos with the Register of Copyright Office.