What happens if I post content that infringes someone’s copyright?

If the Internet Archive is made aware of content that infringes someone’s copyright, we will remove it per our Copyright Policy.

We have a policy of terminating the accounts of users who we determine, in our discretion, to be “repeat infringers” of copyright.

If you believe material uploaded to archive.org was removed due to a copyright complaint as a result of mistake or misidentification, you may submit a counter-notice contesting the copyright complaint. Upon our receipt of a valid counter-notice, we may wait 10 to 14 days to restore the material, unless the copyright owner notifies us that it has initiated legal action against you.

To be effective, a counter-notice must contain the following information:

  1. The URL of the material that was removed (This was in the email informing you of the copyright complaint);
  2. A statement under penalty of perjury that you have a good faith belief that the material was removed as a result of mistake or misidentification. (“Under penalty of perjury I have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material.”) 
  3. Your name, address, and telephone number, and a statement of consent to jurisdiction  (“I consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which my address is located, if in the United States, otherwise the Northern District of California where the Internet Archive is located, and I will accept service of process from the person who provided the copyright complaint or an agent of such person.”); and 
  4. Your physical or electronic signature.

Email or send your counter-notice to:

Internet Archive Copyright Agent
Internet Archive
300 Funston Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94118
Email: info@archive.org
Phone: 415-561-6767

How do I know if I can use this?

The Internet Archive does not make guarantees as to the copyright status of items on archive.org and cannot guarantee information posted on item details or collection pages regarding copyright or other intellectual property rights. Our Terms of Use require that users make use of the Internet Archive’s Collections at their own risk and ensure that such use is non-infringing and in accordance with all applicable laws.

The person who uploads an item often provides information related to use rights, either by way of directly entering it in the description field or by selection of a Creative Commons license. The latter, if included by the uploader, will be viewable via a  Creative Commons  logo on the details page, which serves as a link to a description of the specific type of license that the uploader has assigned.

One way to attempt to contact an uploader about information that they have posted is to post a review to the item.

You may also find these resources helpful:
Lumen Database
Electronic Frontier Foundation 

Please see also:

Who owns the rights to these movies?

Please see the Who owns the rights to the movies that have been uploaded? section at https://help.archive.org/help/movies-and-videos-a-basic-guide/

Are there restrictions on the use of the Prelinger Films?

Please see the Prelinger Archive page at https://help.archive.org/help/prelinger-archive/

Can I search Archive.org by Creative Commons License?

Please see the Can I search by Creative Commons license? section at https://archivesupport.zendesk.com/knowledge/articles/360018359991/en-us

What is non-Commercial Use?

For cultural materials that, broadly defined, belong in a library, the Internet Archive offers free storage, and free bandwidth, forever, for free. As a result, there are now millions of works available through the Archive and most are available only for “non commercial use” and “with attribution.” Sometimes creators choose a Creative Commons license (creativecommons.org) to express this. 

But what does “non-commercial use” mean? We are looking to understand people’s intent, which may be reflected in law in the future. If, collectively, we arrive at a good definition, then we hope many more people will make their works broadly available. This is a start of a definition that we could feel comfortable with. Please let us know what you think via the forum at http://www.archive.org/iathreads/post-view.php?id=111590 . 

As a starting point, the Grateful Dead, a granddaddy of music sharing (called tape trading back in the day) says this: 
• “No commercial gain may be sought by websites offering digital files of our music, 
whether through advertising, exploiting databases compiled from their traffic, or any other means. 
• All participants in such digital exchange acknowledge and respect the copyrights of the performers, writers and publishers of the music. 
•This notice should be clearly posted on all sites engaged in this activity.” 

How can we interpret this? 

This statement revolves around the website that offers the files, not the company and not the webpage. Therefore, a commercial company could store and offer files non-commercially if they are on a separate website that is isolated from their other sites which might be deemed commercial. We interpret this as the originating host and those sites that present the files to users. 

To broaden this definition, we could substitute “website” to “service” to cover a broader range of methods to find and retrieve information. 

Subscription services: if only subscribers can get to the material, then that is deemed commercial use, even if this is done by a non-profit organization. If non-subscribers can also get equal access, then it is not commercial. 

Ad supported websites that give away materials would be deemed commercial use. Therefore files offered from the AOL.com or NYTimes.com websites would be commercial use. 

Catalog and navigation services, such as search engines, that help direct people to the non-commercial materials on non-commercial sites, we believe, do not violate non-commercial status, but navigation starts to look like re-hosting the materials (therefore possibly commercial use) when it is over a 2 line textual description, as common on Yahoo’s and Google’s web search result pages. There are also deep questions that arise when commercial companies, such as those that operate navigation services, keep and use the files pure navigation. 

We do not believe that this agreement precludes uses that are “fair” (under Title 17, Section 107, of the U.S. Code). Although the agreement allows many uses that would not necessarily be fair uses, such as wholesale copying and rehosting elsewhere, fair use also allows many uses that this agreement does not explicitly mention. 
For example, nytimes.com might be allowed to use a section of the work for news reporting purposes under fair use or other similar principles, even though that use is commercial (because nytimes.com is a for-profit service that makes money selling ads and subscriptions). Some people say that fair use does not exist in the digital world, because licenses and DRM explicitly strip away the power to make fair uses. We disagree: we see declarations that specify non-commercial uses as opening up both non-commercial and fair uses. 

Give-away promotion: if the materials are being given away as part of a promotion, then that is deemed commercial use. For instance if Apple, through its iTunes service gave away material to promote its brand and attract paying customers of other services, that is commercial. If as part of the freely distributed iTunes desktop software, materials were also cataloged and distributed, that would be deemed non-commercial use. 

So what are some non-commercial websites or services? Here are a few: 
www.loc.gov by the Library of Congress 
www.ibiblio.org by the University of North Carolina 
www.archive.org by the Internet Archive 
www.eff.org by the Electronic Frontier Foundation 
web.mit.edu by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

A link the Terms of Use for Archive.org is at the bottom of each page. 

How can I contact the person / group who uploaded an item?

Internet Archive is unable to release any contact information for patrons. However, it may be worth your while to post a review for the item in question – this automatically contacts the uploader’s account, notifying them that their upload has been reviewed. You could pose queries/requests for information therein.