Even if there aren’t any roadblocks, for people who are new to the process it can be daunting and take a great deal of time. This prevents many from enforcing their work, even when they have a clear right and reason to do so.
However, there are actually many tools out there that can make it easier to file DMCA notices, including ones that are useful in almost every case and ones that help you get around roadblocks some hosts put in the way.
So, whether you’re a veteran DMCA filer or just looking to get started, here are four simple online tools that can help make the process smoother.
1. Gmail’s Canned Responses
I talked previously about how to use Gmail’s Canned Responses feature to send DMCA notices. The feature, which is still found in Gmail Labs feature after more than three years, basically lets you create templates for your email and then send them out.
With it, you can easily set up a blank template for your notice, fill in the missing elements and submit it. The process is much quicker than trying to copy a template from another source and, best of all, it will work anywhere you have access to your Gmail account.
2. Google Docs
One of the bigger challenges many face when filing DMCA notices is that some hosts demand a handwritten signature when filing a notice. While this doesn’t likely mesh with the law, it also hasn’t been challenged and, as such, is a reality many content creators have to deal with.
Google Docs, however, makes it easy to handle that requirement. Though not robust enough to be a complete replacement for downloadable office applications, it’s more than adequate for creating a stock DMCA template with a handwritten (scanned) signature include.
Best of all, Google Docs makes it easy to export your completed file to a PDF for easy mailing, faxing or attaching to an email.
If you send enough DMCA notices you’re going to eventually run across a host that only accepts notices in the form of fax. However, if you don’t have a fax machine (or a printer) sitting nearby this can be annoying. However, GotFreeFax.com solves this problem by providing a free, ad-less faxing solution.
Though the site isn’t much to look at it, it’s very effective and allows you to send up to 2 faxes per day of up to 3 pages each. However, 3 pages should be more than enough for the average DMCA notice and even a very active filer will probably only need to use this service a few times per month.
If you need to send a fax internationally, GotFreeFax.com offers very reasonable rates. The only drawback is that you won’t have a fax number for receiving responses but, generally, most hosts that require fax DMCA notices will answer via email.
Finally, some hosts will only accept notices via postal mail. This, much like fax-only hosts and hosts requiring a physical signature, likely doesn’t work under the law but, once again it hasn’t been challenged. However, the hassle of preparing a notice and sending it via mail can be a major headache, especially if you need to go to the post office.
Fortunately, Click2Mail makes it easy to send a notice from your computer without leaving your chair. Just simple take the PDF you created, upload it and mail it. You can choose almost any type of mail from regular first class to overnight and Click2Mail can even do certified letters and return receipts to verify that it arrived.
The prices on Click2Mail are very good though you may want to keep a few dollars in an account there to avoid minimum printing charges. The biggest issue I have with Click2Mail is that the service is slow and it’s designed for companies sending mail to a large list, making it somewhat cumbersome for one-off mailings.
All in all, no matter what challenges you face when sending a DMCA notice, there’s no reason that you should have to leave your browser. Every step from discovering the content to filing the notice can be done online, regardless of how the host wants the notice.
This not only saves you time, but also means that you can easily file a notice if you aren’t at your main computer, making it ideal for people who travel a great deal or those who simply switch between computers regularly.
But no matter your situation, these tools greatly streamline and simplify the DMCA-sending process, making it easier than ever to file your notices, regardless of what host you’re dealing with.