Copyright and Trademark Policies
At Circle ITC, we believe that the customer comes first. As a result, we have developed policies over the years which ensure that we respond responsibly to copyright and trademark complaints made to us regarding domains and hosted content, and that we do so in a manner that respects our customer.
Copyright claims are covered by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), whereby a copyright holder may issue a formal complaint known as a DMCA Takedown Notice. If you believe that you have a valid copyright claim related to a Circle ITC customer, you may submit a DMCA Takedown Notice in accordance with this policy.
DMCA Takedown Notice. If we receive a DMCA notice from a copyright holder regarding a domain or hosted content, we will follow the requirements set in place by the DMCA. We will:
- Make sure the notice is DMCA-compliant. At a minimum, it must include:
- Specification of Copyrighted Content.Identification of the work which is claimed to be copyrighted and infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by the notification, a representative list of such works at that site.
- Location of Infringing Material.Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing, or to be the subject of infringing activity, and that is to be removed, or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit Circle ITC to locate the material. This must include the specific URLs for each infringing instance.
- Contact Information for Complaining Party.Information reasonably sufficient to permit Circle ITC to contact the complaining party, such as name, address, and telephone number, as well as facsimile number and email, if available, at which the complaining party may be contacted.
- Good Faith Statement.A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
- Statement Under Perjury.A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly being infringed.
- A physical or electronic signature of the complaining party or its agent.
- Forward that notice to our customer, and make it clear how to proceed.
- If the DMCA notice relates to content hosted on our servers, we will temporarily remove, or disable access to, the disputed content.
- Give our customer the opportunity to counter-notice the DMCA notice. If our customer has counter-noticed a DMCA notice in reference to specific works in circumstances that do not amount to a repeat infringement, we will restore any disputed works promptly upon counter-notice as described below.
You should be aware that if Circle ITC acts only as the domain registrar, and does not provide hosting services in respect of the disputed content, we do not have the technical ability to take action in response to a DMCA notice. In these circumstances, we will forward a copy of the DMCA notice to our customer but will not take any other action.
Further, Circle ITC will determine in its sole and absolute discretion what constitutes repeat infringement.
DMCA Counter-Notice Procedure. If we receive a proper DMCA Takedown Notice from a copyright holder, we will email a copy of the notice to our customer to provide them with the opportunity to submit a DMCA Counter-Notice. We will advise our customer of the following:
- If Circle ITC provides hosting services in respect of the disputed content, we have removed or disabled access to that material due to notice of an alleged copyright infringement.
- If our customer believes that the identification of infringing content is in error, Circle ITC suggests contacting the reporting copyright owner to resolve the matter. If the reporting copyright owner agrees there is a mistake, they should email Circle ITC at firstname.lastname@example.org. The content the subject of the DMCA notice may then be reinstated.
- If it is not possible to come to an agreement with the reporting copyright owner, the customer may submit a DMCA Counter-Notice to Circle ITC within ten (10) business days of the date of our notice. The Counter-Notice is a legal document and must comply with the requirements of the DMCA. It must include the following:
- Contact Information.Contact information, including name, address, and telephone number, as well as facsimile number and email, if available.
- Statement under Perjury.A statement, under penalty of perjury, that the party providing the Counter-Notice has a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake, or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled.
- Previous Location of Alleged Infringing Material.Identification of the material that has been removed, or to which access has been disabled, and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access was disabled.
- Consent to Jurisdiction.A statement that the party providing the Counter-Notice consents to the jurisdiction of the United States District Court in which the address provided is located or, if that address is outside the United States, for the judicial district of California, and that it will accept service of process from the complaining party or its agent.
- A physical or electronic signature of the party providing the Counter-Notice or its agent.
- By submitting a Counter-Notice to Circle ITC, our customer waives any legal or equitable rights or remedies he or she has, or may have, against Circle ITC with respect to the Counter-Notice, any claims regarding any aspect of the disputed content and its publication and/or Circle ITC’s action in implementing a takedown or re-establishing the content, and agrees to indemnify and hold Circle ITC, and its owners/operators, affiliates and/or licensors, harmless to the fullest extent allowed by law regarding all matters relating to the sending of a Counter-Notice.
If our customer responds with a proper Counter-Notice, we will:
- Provide a copy of that Counter-Notice to the complaining party.
- Advise the complaining party that the disputed content will be reinstated in ten (10) business days unless Circle ITC receives notice from the reporting copyright owner that he or she has filed an action against our customer under the DMCA in a court of competent jurisdiction for copyright infringement and is seeking a court order to restrain our customer from publishing the disputed content.
- If Circle ITC does not receive such notification from the complaining party, we will replace the removed material, or cease disabling access to it, in not less than ten (10) business days and not more than fourteen (14) business days from receipt of our customer’s Counter-Notice.
Trademark complaints are outside the scope of a DMCA Takedown Notice. However, if you believe your trademark complaint may also constitute a copyright infringement, and it is published on a website using Circle ITC’s hosting services, you may choose to submit your complaint according to the DMCA Takedown Notice procedure outline above.
Below is Circle ITC’s procedure for processing trademark complaints in various scenarios.
Domain Names. If you believe that a domain name and its use violates your trademark, you may either pursue the matter in a U.S. court of law or have the matter adjudicated under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“UDRP”) or, where available, the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (“URS”). These are the two forums for adjudicating such issues.
The UDRP is a mandatory administrative proceeding adopted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) to resolve disputes regarding the registration of domain names. All ICANN accredited registrars are required to follow the UDRP. As an ICANN accredited registrar, Circle ITC and its customers are bound by the UDRP. Nothing in this policy should be construed to modify or supersede the UDRP. More information regarding the UDRP is available here or here. Information about the URS is available here.
Trademark Owners. If you believe that you have a trademark complaint that is not related to a domain name, and that does not fall under a copyright claim, you may submit a valid and formal notice of a trademark complaint as outlined below. We will forward your complaint to our customer. It should include:
- Details of the trademark or servicemark (“mark”) that is claimed to be infringed, including the registration number and jurisdiction or geographical area to which it applies.
- The name, address and telephone number of the owner of the mark.
- The goods and/or services covered by or offered under the mark.
- A description of how you believe the mark is being infringed, including the precise location of the infringing mark.
- Sufficient evidence that the owner of the website that is claimed to be infringing the mark is a Circle ITC customer.
You should be aware that, other than forwarding your trademark complaint to a customer, we cannot take any further action without a U.S. court order or a UDRP, or URS, ruling.
We will do everything in our power to fairly protect your right to freely use the Internet. However, repeated violation of this policy, or repeated infringement of copyrighted works, trademarks or other intellectual property, will lead to termination in appropriate circumstances. Circle ITC will, in its sole and absolute discretion, determine what constitutes repeat infringement.
Further Questions & Contact Information
If you have any questions about how Circle ITC deals with trademark and copyright complaints, please contact us by email or regular mail at the following address:
Circle ITC Legal Department
19 Franklin Bardi Street
Delta State, Nigeria