The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, commonly known as "DMCA," provides protection against claims of copyright infringement for website owners and other providers of online services or network access such as bloggers, social media platforms and mobile apps (hereafter "service providers") who may have inadvertently or unknowingly uploaded material in violation of third party copyrights. In order to secure the protections provided by the DMCA, website owners and service providers must file documentation with the Copyright Office so that aggrieved parties can request removal of allegedly infringing works. The Copyright Office has revamped the DMCA procedures by which website owners and service providers can obtain safe harbor from copyright infringement allegations.
Regardless of whether or not you have previously filed for DMCA protection with the Copyright Office, you must file anew by January 1, 2018 to obtain the benefits of the DMCA safe harbor provisions.
The new DMCA filings can only be done online. Filers should be aware that separate legal entities, such as corporate parents and subsidiaries, must make separate DMCA filings. However, separate DMCA filings need not be made for website names, URLs, software application names, nicknames, DBAs or other alternative names. Rather, these alternative names can be listed in a single DMCA filing to facilitate contact by third parties.
We encourage our clients to take advantage of the DMCA safe harbor provisions, especially those operating a website in which information is uploaded by third parties. You can complete your new DMCA filing yourself at the website dmca.copyright.gov/login.html. Alternatively, our firm can do the filings for you. If you would like our firm to undertake DMCA filings on your behalf, please contact the attorney with whom you normally work or Tom Palisi, Gregg Paradise or Bruce Sales.