Copyright Office to Launch Electronic Database of DMCA Contacts

Plans to Reduce Filing Fee for Companies

Late last month, the Library of Congress’ U.S. Copyright Office announced plans to launch a new online directory of network service providers’ designated agents under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking also proposes to update regulations governing the designation of agents under the DMCA. The DMCA, which protects the rights of copyright holders against the illegal use of copyrighted material, provides safe harbor protection to network service providers from liability and monetary damages when an infringement has been committed by a network service provider’s (typically an ISP) customer over the provider’s network. Each network service provider must designate a point of contact to receive notifications of claimed infringement in order to receive the safe harbor protection from monetary damages. The DMCA designated agent may be an employee of the network service provider or the company may use an independent designated agent service.

The Copyright Office’s new online directory of designated agents will be more efficient for the office to maintain, for service providers to make designations, and for the public, including copyright owners, to conduct searches in order to report claimed infringements. As the Copyright Office approaches the completion of its electronic database, it proposes lowering the fee for service providers to designate an agent from $105 (plus an additional $35 for each group of up to 10 alternate names) to $6 per designation. The lower fee is a result of the significantly lower costs to maintain and implement the online database.

This proceeding is currently in the comment phase, which ends June 24, after which the Copyright Office will issue its final rules. It anticipates that each existing DMCA agent listing will need to be replaced under the new system. Accordingly, it is expected that all network service providers will need to submit a renewed DMCA agent listing at some point over the next year. If you do not already have a designated agent filed with the Copyright Office, it is recommended that you file one now, even with the higher fee, to protect your company and ensure you are covered under the safe harbor rules in the event an infringement occurs before the final rules are published and effective. JSI will keep watch for the rule change and timeline for filing.

If you have any questions, please contact Terri Parrilla in JSI’s Maryland Office at 301-459-7590.

Source: JSI e-Lert[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]