December 31, 2017, is a key deadline for online service providers that store content provided by third-party users. By that date, providers must designate an agent with the Copyright Office for receipt of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) takedown notices. Although many providers have already done this, a 2016 rule requires the re-registration of any agents registered before December 1, 2016. If a provider fails to complete the registration, it risks losing the DMCA safe harbor under 17 U.S.C. 512(c), which protects providers who comply with certain statutory requirements from copyright liability arising from third-party content stored on their system or network.
To register an agent, a service provider must first create a DMCA Designated Agent Registration Account by going to www.copyright.gov/dmca-directory and clicking the link to “login/register.” Once the account is set up, the service provider can login and register an agent through a quick and inexpensive ($6 per designation) process. For more information about this and other changes to the agent designation process, please review our previous advisory here.