Copyright Office Issues New Rule - A Fresh Designation of Agent
Submission is Required Before The End of 2017 to Be Compliant With
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") provides
safe harbors from copyright infringement liability for online
service providers. There are various requirements necessary in
order to qualify for safe harbor protection, including that an
online service provider must designate an agent with the Copyright
Office to receive notifications of claimed infringement.
17 U.S.C. 512(c)(2) – Designated agent. The limitations on
liability established in this subsection apply to a service
provider only if the service provider has designated an agent to
receive notifications of the claimed infringement . . . on its
website in an accessible location to the public and by providing
the Copyright Office . . . information which the Copyright Office
In December, 2016, the Copyright Office introduced a new online
agent registration system and announced that it will phase out its
paper system by December 31, 2017. Any agent designation
not made through the new online registration system will expire and
become invalid after December 31, 2017. (See, https://www.copyright.gov/dmca-directory/ for
links to the New and Old Designated Agent Directory.)
Along with a fresh agent designation filing, it is the service
provider's duty to make sure that its agent designation is
current and an amendment should be filed if there is a change in
the information on file with the Copyright Office. In an effort to
keep the information up to date, the Copyright Office is
now requiring that the designation of agent must be
renewed every three years. For example, if the fresh
designation of agent is filed January 1, 2017, a resubmission, or
renewal, must be submitted no later than January 1, 2020. Although
the Copyright Office will send renewal reminders to the email
address(es) on file, the renewal date should be carefully docketed
in your records to remain in compliance with Section 512(c)(2). The
Copyright Office charges a nominal fee of $6 per designation,
amendment, or resubmission/renewal.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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