Locke Lord QuickStudy: Time to Renew DMCA Designated Agent Registrations

Locke Lord LLP
January 22, 2020

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.‎