Reregister DMCA agents by year-end or else; companies at risk of losing DMCA safe harbor protections

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Companies who allow website users to generate and post content on their websites must reregister their Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) agents with the U.S. Copyright Office by December 31, 2017, or risk losing all safe harbor protections against copyright infringement under the DMCA. 17 U.S.C. §512(c) protects online service providers from liability for copyright infringement resulting from content generated or posted on their websites by third party users.  To qualify for this protection, an online service provider must designate an agent to receive notifications of claimed copyright infringement, provide contact information for their DMCA agent on their website, and register the DMCA agent with the U.S. Copyright Office.

The U.S. Copyright Office established new registration requirements for DMCA agents earlier this year; notably, DMCA agents registered before December 1, 2016 must reregister no later than December 31, 2017 and a failure to do so may cost a company its safe harbor protection under §512. Additionally, new registrations must be submitted online via the U.S. Copyright Office’s new online portal, as paper registrations are no longer accepted.  Thereafter, reregistration is required every three years or anytime there is a pertinent change to the DMCA agent’s information.

For more information on this topic, please visit our Copyright Protection service page, which is part of our Software & Copyrights Practice.

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