Copyright Office Requires Website Operators to Re-File Appointment of Agent Form by the End of the Year
July 11, 2017 – The Copyright Office now requires website operators (called “service providers”) to file the appointment of agent form online rather than by paper. All existing paper registrations will become invalid on December 31, 2017.
If you registered an agent with the Copyright Office prior to December 1, 2016, and have not filed a new appointment of agent online since that date, you must file your new electronic registration by December 31, 2017, or you will lose your exemption from liability for copyright infringement by users of your website.
Registrations will now only be valid for three years and must be renewed before the three-year period expires, even if nothing is changed. The good news is that the registration fee has been reduced from $105 to $6.
The information required in the registration is slightly revised. Service Providers must submit: (a) the service provider’s name and physical street address; (b) all other names by which the public might use to search for the service provider (dba’s, url’s, software application names, etc.); (c) the designated agent’s legal name, position or title (if an individual), the specific department within the organization or within a third-party entity, or the name of a third-party entity; and (d) the designated agent’s mailing address, telephone number, and email address.
You may file your registration or renewal at https://dmca.copyright.gov.
The basic requirements to avoid liability have not changed: (a) the service provider must not know the material is infringing; (b) when notified of the infringement, the service provider must remove, or disable access to, the material; and (c) the service provider must have appointed an agent to receive notice of claimed infringements. The name and contact information of the agent must appear on the website and must also be registered with the Copyright Office.
For more information, or if you have questions about this change, please contact one of the following Gust Rosenfeld attorneys: