99designs is here to help you buy and sell designs legally. So, as you’d expect, we’re committed to protecting designers’ intellectual property rights, and providing contest holders with designs that they’re legally entitled to use.
We know you value copyright just as much as we do — after all, we’re talking about your rights! — so we’ve put together these guidelines to make sure we all know where we stand.
You can report clear copyright violations via our contact form. If you spot a member who’s used your content without your permission, you’re welcome to private message that person and ask them to take down the content.
But you must not post false, inaccurate, misleading, defamatory, or libelous content in a contest. Alleging an infringement of your copyright via a public comment in a contest discussion is defamation and will be dealt with appropriately.
99designs can’t make decisions about what constitutes a “derivative work”. Of course we’ll deal with cases of direct replication, but we can’t do anything about allegations of copying, or a work being influenced by another work.
We’re hard at work on a reputation system that allows users to rate other users’ behaviour, and originality will be a key component of that system. Keep an eye on the 99designs blog for more on this.
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (USA) and Copyright Act (Australia)
To file a takedown notice under the DMCA — an act that will result in the immediate removal of a contest or entry — you must hold the copyrights to the content in question. That’s the law.
The process is designed to make reporting these alleged infringements easy, while at the same time reducing the number of notices that are fraudulent, malicious, untrue, unsubstantiated or difficult to understand.
How will 99designs respond to these notices? That will depend on each case. We might remove or disable access to the material claimed to be the subject of infringing activity. We may suspend subscribers.
In any case, we’ll try to contact the owner of the affected contest or design so that they have a chance to make a counter-notification. When you agreed to the 99designs terms and conditions, you consented to your contact details being disclosed so the owner may contact you directly.
To file notice of an alleged infringement with 99designs, you’ll need to provide a written communication (by fax—the number’s on the form below—or regular post, mailing it to us at 3rd Floor, 447 Battery Street, San Francisco, CA 94111) that contains the information requested on the Alleged Infringement Notice provided for download below.
Keep in mind that you’ll be liable for damages, including costs and lawyers or attorneys fees, if you materially misrepresent that an activity is infringing your copyright.