May 28, 2022

Volume XII, Number 148

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May 27, 2022

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New Year’s Resolution – Be Compliant With Digital Millennium Copyright Act!

Copyright Office Issues New Rule – A Fresh Designation of Agent Submission is Required Before The End of 2017 to Be Compliant With The DMCA 

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 deems appropriate.

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.

Copyright © 2022 Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume VII, Number 37
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About this Author

Laura A. Kees, Womble, Trademarks Lawyer, copyright portfolio management attorney
Partner

Laura Kees is a trademark and copyright attorney in Womble Carlyle’s Atlanta office where she concentrates her practice on trademark and copyright portfolio management, counseling clients on the risk associated with adoption of proposed names and marks, evaluating when applications for domestic and/or international registration should be filed and advising how and when to maintain those registrations. Laura works with a variety of large portfolio clients and utilizes an international network of IP attorneys to ensure that those clients’ trademark and copyright assets are...

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