New DMCA agent registration rules started December 1st, require action before the end of 2017.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbor enables a company to avoid copyright liability for hosting third-party created content that violates copyright, as long as the company has a registered DMCA agent with the Copyright Office, and takes the appropriate steps after receiving a notice.
The Copyright Office is finally moving into the Internet era, and shifting from requiring physically mailed copies of DMCA Agent registrations, to online registration. This should enable a much easier search for agents.
However, because of this switch, all previously registered service providers must re-register with the new electronic system by December 31, 2017, and designate their agent. The new rules also require re-registration every three years.
One advantage of the new system is the reduced cost. Not only has the fee to the Copyright Office been significantly decreased, from $105 to $6, but the faster online registration should also decrease the cost in time or money if you are working with an attorney to register.
If you host any third party content that could infringe copyright — for example a blog/Tumblr/Instagram that others post to, a forum, or an app that permits users to comment or post content — we highly recommend registering a DMCA agent
. Once you do, any copyright notices will go to that agent via email. DMCA notices do require prompt action so make sure that the email address remains monitored. We recommend using an email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org, with a secondary email address of a law firm or other entity that ensure that the notices are received by the right people within the company.
We have been the designated agent for a number of our clients, and have of course already registered as an agent, and will be updating our clients’ registrations. If you have questions about the DMCA, how to register as a DMCA agent, or have another issue we could help with, please drop us a line.