If you have not designated an agent electronically and need to do so, don’t overlook this essential step.
Websites hosting third-party content need to make one of their New Year’s resolutions be to update Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) compliance information with the U.S. Copyright Office. The DMCA provides a safe harbor from copyright infringement liability for online service providers that allow users to post or store material, as well as for search engines, directories, and other information location tools.
The safe harbor provision, 17 U.S.C. § 512©, requires designation of an agent to receive notifications of claimed copyright infringement (the “takedown notice”). It’s a two-step process; First. post the agent’s contact information for public access on the website. Second, provide the same information to the Copyright Office for its online directory of designated agents.
As of the end of last year, the Copyright Office has an online DMCA agent registration system. While this should be no surprise, the introduction of the new system has created a new requirement for online service providers who designated an agent before December 1, 2016. They must submit another agent designation electronically using the new system before December 1, 2017. And while that’s nearly a year away, it never hurts to file sooner rather than later when it comes to intellectual property matters. Failure to designate a DMCA agent electronically will prevent seeking refuge in the safe harbor from copyright infringement liability.
Inspiration Spaceship is a boutique Portland entertainment law firm focused on copyright and other creative legal issues. If you have questions about DMCA compliance, please contact the firm.