VK.com TakeDown Process
VK.com is a Russian social media platform, and similar to Facebook in some ways. It isn’t really a site that is set up to sell work on, but it is possible. However, some of you (like me) might find an instance in people using artworks for profile images (this could be a friend, family member or follower – which could be acceptable, but on the other hand it could be a business page, and these should know better. After all business is business and advertising costs), or placing them on their page and not adding trackbacks or accreditation. So, by law (but not publicised or easy to find), VK.com has set up a TakeDown form. It is not particularly easy to get started, but ends with a one page form that is required to be filled in. The following page is here to go through the steps to complete the process with the best ease and effectiveness, based on the idea that you have never used the form before. If you are registered at VK.com jump to the bottom for details. The takedown form can be found here! VK.com have provided an alternative email address for sending claims, which you can do by clicking here!
When you find some content on VK.com you will find an option at the lower right of the image, that allows for “Report” options to be elected. However, you will see that the options do not include an option to report the image as a violation. This has to be done a different way. The unfortunate truth is that, like Alibaba, Taobao and some others, they are assuming that you have a registered account and even registered your artwork. The next process will explain how to get this done, as if you had no account to start with.
If you go to their infringement page without having an account, you will find this page. It is stating that you need to have an account to be able to send a claim for copyright infringement. Now, this shouldn’t be the case, as you can be an artist who has been directed their via a complaint and not a user. However, if you feel the claim is that important, then you can continue this way. Hold on though as the surprise is at the end.
First thing you will need to do is click the “Sign Up” part of the form. This will lead you to this page. They sate that for security reasons you need to place in your mobile number (Be prepared to receive loads of SPAM in your mobile box if this is not the case). Anyway, once have done this you will get the next screen.
On your phone you will receive a 5 digit code, and you add this to your form, after pressing the “Get Code” button. Add the code into the box (quite quickly, as it refreshes), and then press “Confirm“.
This then leads you on to a section that will ask you to create a password. Again, like any site, it’s best to create a good strong password. So do so, and then add that to the form and press “Join VK“. Unlike most other social media sites, I didn’t receive an email welcoming me. Mainly as you may have noticed that none of the steps above request an email. So, you are instantly thrown into the profile section of your account:
This will be a series of steps to see if you have any friends on VK.com. For the purposes of doing a takedown, it’s best maybe to just press the “Skip this Step“.
As you see, there is a series of annoying questions looking for extra details. Again you can skip this stage and move to the next.
Again, looking for more information from you about social media. Just press the “To My Page“. Which actually then takes you to your profile, and not the page that you started the process from.
At this point I can wonder why they think I am female and populate my profile with all the necessary details, or I can return to the complaints form (which is here).
At this point you may then start to realise that the whole process was a little bit of a waste of time! Why, well if you read the pop-up on clicking in the “Confirming Documents” section, you will find that this form is set up for people who have actually registered their works for copyright. Now, as the European Union and in fact any signatory of the Berne Convention should know (as well as Russia), there is no formal requirement for people to register the artworks with any copyright body.
Anyway, the form is much the same as any other. The first section asks for details of the infringement. You can add here your reasons why you think the artwork on the site is infringing your rights. Then comes the confirming documents.
As you can see from the long list, there are a series of documents required that they will need to resolve the issue. Basically the only one you can provide is a link to your official website, that will indicate the publication of the work under your name. I would suggest as this is a text box, to also add some text to state that as a citizen of a country under the Berne Convention, that you don’t need to register the works and the the link is enough to support your claim of ownership. You could also attach a DMCA takedown document here to, which can be made here, as option one!
You achieve that by clicking the “Attach” button.
From there you will see you have the option to add a photo or document. So apply which ever you have available. and they will be added. After that, and assuming you are not a legal representative, you can fill in the personal details as like all other forms. Once you have achieved that you can spend the best part of the day clicking the myriad of tick boxes that come underneath. They are the legality part to state that everything is true and correct. As you have an account and placed your name above, all you need to do is press “Send” from that point on and your form has gone. That is their process. Basically the second time you will not have to register. Good luck!
If you’d like to do the sending direct, you can use this form.