Changes to US Copyright Office’s Registration of Designated DMCA Agents Take Effect

December 9, 2016

The US Copyright Office recently introduced a new online registration system for service providers to designate agents to receive notifications of claimed copyright infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Prior to this new online registration system, service providers registered their designated DMCA agents by completing a paper form and sending the form into the US Copyright Office. As of December 1, 2016, in order to qualify for protection under the DMCA’s Section 512 “safe harbor” provisions (the “DMCA Safe Harbor”), service providers will now have to register their designated DMCA agents using the US Copyright Office’s new online registration system.

Service providers who previously designated their DMCA agent with the US Copyright Office using the paper form must re-register using the online system. In order to maintain an active designation with the US Copyright Office, a service provider that has previously registered its DMCA agent must submit a new electronic designation by December 31, 2017.

More About the DMCA Safe Harbor

Under the DMCA Safe Harbor, a service provider that makes available, transmits, caches, stores, or links to user-provided materials may be exempt from liability for the infringing activities of those users if the service provider meets certain conditions. A service provider that allows users to post content, share videos or images, or write comments on its website may qualify for protection under the DMCA Safe Harbor if it does not actually know about the copyright infringement, does not benefit from the infringement, and promptly removes any infringing materials upon discovery. In addition, in order to gain the benefits of the DMCA Safe Harbor, a service provider must designate an agent to receive notifications of claimed copyright infringement under the DMCA, make certain contact information of the agent available to the public on its website, and register the designated agent with the US Copyright Office.

If you have any questions regarding the DMCA or the changes to the US Copyright Office’s online registration system to designate DMCA agents, please contact the authors of this Alert or your OMM advisor.

This memorandum is a summary for general information and discussion only and may be considered an advertisement for certain purposes. It is not a full analysis of the matters presented, may not be relied upon as legal advice, and does not purport to represent the views of our clients or the Firm. Hao Wang, an O'Melveny associate licensed to practice law in California, Massachusettsand New York, contributed to the content of this newsletter. The views expressed in this newsletter are the views of the authors except as otherwise noted. 

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