Take-down notification procedure (v3.2)

This is the procedure used by ISPA to process take-down notifications as per section 77 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions (ECT) Act. ISPA members are required to nominate ISPA as their agents for the purposes of section 77 of the ECT Act. Each member must also establish a process for handling take-down notifications which matches the procedure below.

    1. ISPA receives a take-down request from a complainant.
    2. Check: Is the service provider against whom the complaint is being made an ISPA member?
      • If the service provider is an ISPA member:
        Proceed to step 3.
      • If the service provider is not an ISPA member:
        Notify the complainant that ISPA cannot assist with this query.
        End of procedure.
      • If no service provider is identified in the complaint:
        Notify the complainant that the name of the service provider has not been provided.
        End of procedure.
    3. Check: Does the complaint include all of the information below?
      • If all of this information is included in the complaint:
        Proceed to step 4.
      • If some of the information above is missing from the complaint:
        Notify the complainant that some required information has not been provided.
        End of procedure.
  • The full names and address of the complainant
  • Telephonic and electronic contact details, if any, of the complainant
  • The name of the service provider against whom the complaint is being made
  • Identification of the material or activity that is claimed to be the subject of unlawful activity
  • Identification of the right that has allegedly been infringed
  • The remedial action required to be taken by the service provider in respect of the complaint
  • A statement by the complainant that the information in the take-down notification is to his or her knowledge true and correct
  • A statement that the complainant is acting in good faith
  • The written or electronic signature of the complainant
    1. Check: Does the complaint meet all of the sanity checks below?
      • If the complaint passes all of the sanity checks:
        Proceed to step 5.
      • If the complaint fails one or more of the sanity checks:
        Notify the complainant that the complaint has been rejected. Notify the service provider that the complaint was rejected and why.
        End of procedure.
  • Is the material actually hosted on the network of the service provider?
  • Has the material in question already been taken down as a result of an earlier complaint (or for some other reason)?
  • Is it technically feasible for the service provider to do what is requested as the remedial action?
    1. Forward the complaint to the service provider. Notify the complainant that the take-down request has been accepted by ISPA and forwarded on to the service provider concerned.

Target turn-around time for steps 1-5 is 3 working days

    1. Proceed with this step two working days after step 5 has been completed, or when the service provider notifies ISPA that the content has been taken down.

Check: Has the material referred to in the complaint been taken down?

  • If the material has been taken down:
    Notify the complainant that the material has been removed, as requested.
    End of procedure.
  • If the material has not been taken down:
    Telephone the service provider, noting that the content has not yet been taken down.
    Proceed to step 7.
    1. Proceed with this step two working days after the telephone notification in step 6, or when the service provider notifies ISPA that the content has been taken down after the telephonic notification.

Check: Has the material referred to in the complaint been taken down?

  • If the material has been taken down:
    Notify the complainant that the material has been removed, as requested.
    End of procedure.
  • If the material has not been taken down:
    Telephone and email the service provider, noting that the content has not yet been taken down.
    Proceed to step 8.
    1. Proceed with this step if the service provider fails to respond to all take-down notifications in steps 5, 6 and 7, or if the service provider refuses to take the content down.

Check: What was the service provider’s response?

  • If the material referred to in the complaint has been taken down:
    Notify the complainant that the take-down notice has been acted on.
    End of procedure.
  • If the service provider did not respond to the notification at all:
    Notify the complainant that the service provider has failed to respond.
    Proceed to step 9.
  • If the service provider refused to take the content down:
    Notify the complainant that the service provider has refused the take-down.
    Proceed to step 9.
  • If the service provider has requested that this take-down notification be redirected to another ISPA member:
    Notify the complainant of the service provider’s response and request the complainant’s consent to redirect the take-down notice. If consent is given, return to step 5, with the new target ISP. If consent is not given, notify the initial target ISP and request that they provide an additional response, then return to the beginning of step 8.
  • If the service provider provided some other response:
    Notify the complainant of the service provider’s response.
    Proceed to step 9.
  1. Check: Does the complainant wish to lodge a Code of Conduct complaint against the service provider?
    • If the complainant does not wish to lodge a complaint:
      End of procedure.
    • If the complainant does want to proceed with a complaint:
      Proceed to step 5 of the Code of Conduct complaint and disciplinary procedure.
      The service provider is alleged to be in breach of point 25 of the Code of Conduct for failing to remove the content in question.

    Target turn-around time for steps 6-9 is 4 working days

Contact Details

Tel: 010 500 1200 or 087 550 1200
Fax: +27 (0) 87 606 4066
Email: queries [at] ispa.org.za
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Please note that the Secretariat closes on 16th December 2014 and opens again on 5th January 2015. You are welcome to complete application forms, lodge complaints, or contact us, however these queries will only be processed when the Secretariat opens again in the new year.