By: Robert V. Hawn, Esq.
In 1998, Congress enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) . This act enacted many things including a protection for online services who allow content from users which may be in violation of another’s copyright to not be liable for a copyright infringement.
The current rule states that a service provider or website operator will not be liable for monetary relief for an infringement of copyright by users posting content on the provider’s site as long as the service provider meets certain qualifications. 
Here’s what’s new – Paper is out and the electronic online system is in.
The change to this act states that in order for the online service provider to be immune for copyright infringement for its users’ content, the online service provider must:
1)Re-register their designated agent online with the US Copyright Office ( here ) by December 31, 2017 (Along with the $6 fee); and
2)Make the Designated Agent known to the public on the service provider’s website; including their contact information that matches with the US Copyright Office. 
The designated agent is an agent who will be the point of contact with the copyright owner for claims of infringement by the online service provider.
Renew every 3 years
The Designated Agent must be renewed every three years.  Further, if the online service provider amends or resubmits a Designated Agent the three year renewal will restart on that modification date.
The copyright office has made a few videos to help with creating and managing the Designated Agent ( here ).
Here’s what you need to do:
If you are an online service provider that allows users to upload content, you need to follow the appropriate qualifications in 17 U.S.C 512 and follow the new addition to the rule by:
1) Registering a Designated Agent with the US Copyright Office (here) by December 31, 2017 ; and
2) Making this Designated Agent known to the public on the service provider’s website.
By following 17 U.S.C 512, the online service provider will increase its chances of being immune from liability arising out of infringing material uploaded by a user. To learn more, check out the following sites:
US Copyright Designated Agent registration:
Helpful FAQ on the DMCA Designated Agent:
US Copyright DMCA Designated Agent Tutorial videos:
37 U.S.C. 201.38 Designation of agent to receive notification of claimed infringement
The information appearing in this blog does not constitute legal advice or opinion. Such advice and opinions are provided by the firm only upon engagement with respect to specific factual situations. Specific questions relating to this article should be addressed directly to Strategy Law, LLP.