REMINDER – Electronic Registration of DMCA Agent Required By December 31

Business Insights

REMINDER – Electronic Registration of DMCA Agent Required By December 31

Dec 21, 2017 | Business Insights

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) provides safe harbors from copyright infringement liability for certain kinds of online service providers — for example, websites that allow users to post or store material on their systems. If a provider is in compliance with the statute, it will be shielded from liability for infringing materials posted by third parties on their site.

In order to qualify for safe harbor protections, providers must designate an agent to receive “take down” notifications of claimed copyright infringement. These websites also must post take down information on their websites (usually, in their Terms of Use) to take advantage of the safe harbors.

If you own a website – and particularly one which allows others to post through message boards or other methods, you have until December 31, 2017 to register or re-register your takedown agent in the Copyright office directory, or your safe harbor status will lapse on January 1, 2018.

Copyright infringement is a serious matter – a court may find infringers liable for statutory damages (without the need to prove any actual harm) up to $150,000 per infringed work. Registering an agent and ensuring that your website is in compliance with the DMCA is very inexpensive insurance against such liability.

If you would like assistance in registering your agent or updating your Terms of Use to comply with the DMCA, please contact the author listed below or the Bean Kinney lawyer with whom you normally consult. From now until the end of the year, our fee to register or renew an agent appointment is $350, plus the $6 government registration fee.

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