Copyright Office Implements Electronic Agent Designation Process

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The United States Copyright Office (Office) has implemented a new electronic registration process for Online Service Providers (OSPs) to designate their agents to receive takedown notices and other notices of infringement as required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).   Section 512 of the DMCA provides safe harbors from copyright infringement liability for OSPs that are engaged in specified activities and that meet certain eligibility requirements.  In order to obtain these safe harbor protections, an OSD is required to designate an agent to receive notifications of claimed copyright infringement and to make contact information for the agent available to the public both on its Web site and by providing such information to the Copyright Office in the form of an agent designation registration.  Since 1998, The Office has implemented a paper-based agent designation process that has been expensive, unwieldy and difficult to update.  Existing paper-based registrations that remain accurate will be phased out as of December 31, 2017. Accordingly, OSDs are urged to resubmit and/or update their agent designations through the new electronic system sooner rather than later, but in any event prior to the end of 2017.

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