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Take-down notification procedure (v1) [back]


This is a procedure for ISPA to process take-down notifications as per section 77 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions (ECT) Act. This assumes that ISPA is acting as the designated agent for the service provider.

  1. ISPA receives a take-down notification from a complainant. The complaint can be hand-delivered, posted, faxed or e-mailed.
  2. A check is performed to ensure that the complaint includes everything required:

    • The name of the service provider against whom the complaint is being made
    • The full names and address of the complainant
    • The written or electronic signature of the complainant
    • Identification of the right that has allegedly been infringed
    • Identification of the material or activity that is claimed to be the subject of unlawful activity
    • The remedial action required to be taken by the service provider in respect of the complaint
    • Telephonic and electronic contact details, if any, of the complainant
    • A statement that the complainant is acting in good faith
    • A statement by the complainant that the information in the take-down notification is to his or her knowledge true and correct


    If the complaint does contain all of these points, proceed to 3.


    If the complaint does not contain all of these points, a form reply is sent back to the complainant explaining that this information is required by law in any take-down notification. End of procedure.


  4. An acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint is sent to the complainant.
  5. A few basic sanity checks are done, to ensure that the complaint is valid:

    • Is the service provider a member of ISPA?
    • 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?


    If the complaint passes the sanity tests, then proceed to 5.


    If any of these sanity checks fail, a letter is sent to both the complainant and the service provider explaining the reason that the complaint cannot be addressed and inviting the complainant to submit a modified/corrected complaint, where applicable. End of procedure.


  7. Copies of the complaint are forwarded to the service provider and the Complaints Panel.
  8. Target turn-around time for steps 1-5 is 3 working days
  9. Two working days after the day the complaint is forwarded to the service provider, a check is performed to ensure that the material referred to in the complaint has been taken down.


    If the material has been taken down, proceed to 7.


    If the material has not been removed, proceed to 8.


  11. A note is sent to the complainant confirming that the action requested in the complaint has been taken. A copy of this note is sent to the Complaints Panel. End of procedure.
  12. The service provider is contacted by telephone, and a note of the failure to comply with the written complaint is sent to the Complaints Panel.
  13. Two working days after the day of the telephonic notification, a second check is performed to see if the material has been removed.


    If the material has been taken down, go back to 7.


    If the material has still not been removed, then the service provider is in breach of point 13 of the code of conduct. A complaint against the service provider must be initiated using the procedure for dealing with such a breach.

    Target turn-around time for entire process is 10 working days

iWeek 2009

iWeek 2009 conference and exhibition,
Bryanston, Johannesburg,
2-4 September 2009.

Please contact ISPA for sponsorship and exhibition queries:
iweek (at)

Report Internet child pornography to the Film and Publication Board's hotline or the SAPS. More info here