On December 1, 2016, the United States Copyright Office unveiled an online registration system for online service providers to record Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“D.M.C.A.”) designated agent information. Under the D.M.C.A., an online service provider must designate an agent to receive copyright infringement claims, display that agent’s contact information on the provider’s website, and record the agent contact information with the Copyright Office. Such designation provides the online service provider with “safe harbor” protection under 17 U.S.C. § 512, shielding the provider from copyright infringement liability if it promptly removes infringing content once its designated agent receives notice of the infringement.
The Copyright Office ceased accepting paper designations on November 30, 2016. All designations not made through the new online registration system will expire and become invalid on December 31, 2017. Accordingly, even if your business recently filed up-to-date designated agent paperwork, you must re-file the information using the online registration system to maintain the safe harbor protections the D.M.C.A. provides.
Please contact Fennemore Craig if you have any questions or concerns about the Copyright Office’s new system.