• DMCA Agent Designation Required By December 31, 2017
  • December 27, 2017 | Authors: W. Whitaker (Whit) Rayner; Bernard F. Meroney; A. Justin Ourso; Robert L. Waddell
  • Law Firms: Jones Walker LLP - Baton Rouge Office; Jones Walker LLP - Baton Rouge Office; Jones Walker LLP - Jackson Office
  • Does your business allow third parties to post content of any kind on your website? Have you ever wondered what might happen if a third party posts content that may infringe upon the copyrights of others? Fortunately, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides a safe harbor for those website providers who are merely passive conduits for such materials. However, the safe harbor requires adherence to certain procedures, including the appointment of a designated agent of the company to investigate and take action when infringement is alleged.

    Until recently, a one-time submission of a paper form designating the agent was all that was required. Effective December 31, 2017, all such designations must be submitted electronically, utilizing a new system within the Library of Congress. An electronic designation must be made, even for those businesses that previously submitted a paper designation. Failure to submit such a designation by December 31, 2017, puts at serious risk the safe harbor defense to copyright infringement set forth under the DMCA. While the filing fees for electronic designation are minimal, unlike prior paper registrations, these designations are valid only for a period of three years.

    If you have any questions concerning designating someone from your company as a DMCA agent, or if you have any questions concerning avoiding liability for infringement in your web-based content, please contact one of our attorneys listed below.