By December 31, 2017, any online service provider that has registered an agent with the U.S. Copyright Office through the paper-based registration system must submit a new registration using the new electronic system to preserve safe harbor protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).
The DMCA, among other things, provides a safe harbor for online service providers from copyright infringement liability resulting from content posted on their websites or services by users. To qualify for DMCA safe harbor protection, online service providers must designate an agent to receive notifications of alleged copyright infringement by registering with the Copyright Office and each service provider must list their agent’s contact information on their website.
The Copyright Office’s paper-based registration system has been replaced by an online registration system. All online service providers seeking DMCA safe harbor protection must now register agents using the new electronic registration system. This applies to online service providers that have already designated DMCA agents using the paper-based system.
Online service providers that previously designated a DMCA agent using the paper-based system must resubmit their designations through the new electronic system before the December 31 deadline and renew their designations using this system at least every three years. Failure to register electronically by the end of the year will result in the expiration of existing designations and the loss of DMCA safe harbor protection.
What should online service providers do? All online service providers should submit a new DMCA agent designation using the online registration on the DMCA website by December 31, 2017. The fee for filing, amending or renewing a designation through the online system is $6.00.
How Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP can help. We are a full-service law firm with expertise in intellectual property and technology law. We can help register your DMCA agent designation with the Copyright Office using the new electronic system.