Register a DMCA Designated Agent to Avoid Copyright Infringement Law Suits
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Registering a DMCA Designated Agent
As of December 1, 2016 the U.S. Copyright Office introduced a new online registration system for blog, social network, forum, community website owners and service providers to register a Digital Millennium Copyright Act Designated Agent. The purpose of registration is to provide the website owner the benefit of the Safe Harbor provisions of the Act. The safe harbor provides the website owner or service provider protection from copyright infringement claims, or vicarious infringement claims by giving owners of copyright alleging infringement a simple transmission system within which to send notification of alleged copyright infringement notice.
Why Should I Register a DMCA Designated Agent?
If your website allows the posting of user generated content, you run the risk of copyright infringement claims of at least the secondary liability type. Registering, and publishing, a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Designated Agent may offer website owners and service providers a safe harbor against such claims under certain conditions.
However, the safe harbor under the DMCA only applies if the service provider has designated an agent to receive notifications of claimed infringement. 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(2).
Thus, a website owner or online service provider must register a DMCA Designated Agent, and publish the name and contact information of the designated agent on the website.
How to Register a DMCA Designated Agent?
- Choose an agent. Your agent can be your lawyer, although being a lawyer is not a prerequisite to being a DMCA Designated Agent. However, your agent’s address cannot be a P.O. Box. The address must be a place where a person can accept service for your company. Your lawyer or registering agent can accept service, and thus also act as your DMCA Agent.
- Complete the application for DMCA Designated Agent.
- Submit the application to the copyright office with the required fee, $6 per three years.
- Keep your application and information up to date. Your lawyer can keep your application current. It is critical that your designation is kept current. Allowing the application to lapse may void your safe harbor protection.
For blog, forum, community, social or other sites that allow users to upload their own content, acting in compliance with the conditions for eligibility, registering a DMCA Designated Agent has the potential to be a powerful deterrent to certain copyright infringement law suits.
Our copyright infringement defense lawyers can assist you with DMCA Designated Agent registration. Our intellectual property attorneys in Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami Dade County can also act as your Digital Millennium Copyright Act Designated Agent. Our copyright infringement defense attorneys can also assist you in registering yourself, or another company insider, as your sites DMCA Designated Agent.
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