December 12, 2017
Almost one year ago, we alerted you to new Copyright Office regulations that require all individuals/entities with a website that allows third parties to post or receive information on or through the website to register the websites designated agent (or Copyright Agent). This registration must be completed by Decembe31, 2017 even if you had registered an agent prior to the Copyright Office regulation changes. See here: http://lsglegal.com/new-copyrights-regulations-require-updating-copyright-agent-information/
Why is this registration of an agent so important? The Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides a “safe harbor” for websites that allow third parties to post information on the site. That safe harbor makes the websites immune from claims of copyright infringement as a result of the third party posting. That safe harbor, however, only exists if the site designates an agent to receive any notices of alleged copyright infringement and registers that agent in the Copyright Offices’ public database. The identity and contract information of the agent must be included in the web site.
The new on-line registration system for copyright agents replaces the old paper registration system.
Renewal of agents must occur every three years but if you change agents prior to the end of that three-year period you can feel free to register the new agent at that time.
And it only costs $6 to file the agent’s identification!
So, if you have a website that accepts third party postings, do not risk losing your immunity. Designate a copyright agent now on your website and in the Copyright Office.