On or before December 31, 2017, online service providers that have previously registered DMCA designated agents with the U.S. Copyright Office must re-register through its new online registration system. Otherwise, the online service provider will not be eligible for the safe harbor protections of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the “DMCA”). The notification of this new regulation can be found here.
The safe harbor provisions of the DMCA provide a shield against copyright infringement liability based upon content posted by internet users. Without the safe harbor protections, an online service provider can be exposed to copyright infringement without its knowledge when the content underlying the infringement is posted by an internet user. Online service providers include, for example, website hosting, blogs, email services, chat rooms or other venues in which user-generated content may be posted online.
This shield requires that the online service provider comply with all of the requirements of the DMCA, which beginning December 1, 2016 will include the online registration of a designated agent for the online service provider. The new registration system is accessible at https://dmca.copyright.gov/osp/login.html.
Designated agent registrations must be renewed every three years.