For service providers that registered a DMCA agent through the Copyright Office’s online-only system established in December 2016, the time has come to re-register.
A service provider that permits the uploading of content by third-party users (e.g. YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook) will not be held liable for copyright infringement if the service provider follows the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the “DMCA”), which include designating and registering with the Copyright Office a DMCA agent to receive notices of alleged copyright infringement.
Until December 2016, service providers could only register a DCMA agent via a paper filing through an “interim” paper registration system (which lasted for 18 years after the DMCA was enacted). On December 1, 2016, the Copyright Office instituted an online-only filing system, requiring all service providers to register online (even if they had registered under the old “interim” system). The online-only system requires re-registration every three years (and payment of a nominal fee), meaning that service providers that registered in December 2016 will need to re-register now. Timely re-registration is vital, because without a registered DMCA agent a service provider is not eligible for the safe harbor protection.
The Trademark, Copyright & Advertising Group at Locke Lord LLP is experienced at helping companies and clients with questions regarding the DCMA. If you would like further information, please contact the authors.
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