ALERT: Register (Or Re-Register) Your DMCA Agent Online By December 31, 2017 Or Lose Safe Harbor Eligibility For User-Generated Content On Your Website
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) affords an invaluable safe harbor to online “service providers” (as that term is very broadly defined in the DMCA) for copyright infringement claims arising from user-generated content posted to a service provider’s website. To be eligible, service providers must satisfy several criteria. For example, service providers must implement a policy for the termination of repeat infringers and comply with certain “standard technical measures” used by copyright owners to identify or protect copyrighted works. Service providers must also designate an agent to receive notice of claimed infringement. Although service providers wishing to take advantage of this safe harbor have traditionally designated their agents through a written submission to the United States Copyright Office, in May 2017, the Copyright Office issued a final rule requiring service providers to register their designated agents (or in the case of those already registered, re-register) through a new online system. The deadline to register with the new online system is December 31, 2017. The final rule also requires the designation be renewed every three years. Failure to register and renew will result in a loss of eligibility for the DMCA safe harbor, a risk no service provider should take.
As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.
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