The U.S. Copyright Office has issued a new rule that has important implications for any website that allows “user generated content” (UGC). This includes (for example), videos (think Youtube), user reviews (think Amazon or Tripadvisor), and any site that allows user comments.
In order to avoid possible claims of copyright infringement based on UGC, website owners rely on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the “DMCA”). However, the DMCA imposes strict requirements on website owners, and failure to comply with even one of these requirements will result in the loss of protection.
One requirement is that the website register an agent with the Copyright Office. The contact information contained in the registration allows copyright owners to request a “take down” of the copyright owner’s content.
The Copyright Office is revamping its agent registration system, and as part of this process it is requiring website owners to re-register their DMCA agents by the end of 2017, and re-register every three years thereafter. Gesmer Updegrove LLP’s Client Advisory on this new rule is embedded in this post, below. You can also click here to go directly to the pdf file on the firm’s website.