Copyright Infringement Liability: Website Owners and Bloggers Should Review Federal Registration Requirements
Websites, blogs and other internet entities that allow the public to post comments, pictures, articles, videos, music, poetry or other user-generated content must meet new federal registration requirements to maintain or establish a safe harbor from copyright infringement liability.
Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), online service providers such as websites, blogs, discussion forums and chat rooms that allow third-party content are afforded a safe harbor from copyright lawsuits where a copyright owner alleges a third party has posted infringing content if certain requirements are met. One such requirement for online providers is providing the Copyright Office with a designated agent contact to receive notice of claimed infringement.
Previously, designations were filed through a paper-based system. However effective Jan. 1, 2018, internet entities must electronically register the contact information of a designated agent to receive take-down notices for claimed infringing content. The new online registration process makes it easier for small websites and individual bloggers to take advantage of the DMCA safe harbor as the Copyright Office has simplified the required contact information on the electronic form.
The filing fee is $6, and the designated agent information must be reviewed and renewed every three years. Designations previously submitted through the former paper-based system must be refiled electronically as they will be considered invalid as of Jan. 1, 2018. For more information or to register, visit https://www.copyright.gov/dmca-directory/.
Online service providers must meet other requirements to claim DMCA safe harbor, including publicly posting a procedure for reporting claims of copyright infringement, which must comply with DMCA-specified requirements.
For more information on designated agents, take-down notices, copyright policies, website terms and conditions or privacy policies, or other intellectual property issues, please contact Peter Broadbent, Belinda Jones or Noelle James.
Litigation Associates Join the Firm
Shannan M. Fitzgerald and Gordon M. Phillips have joined the firm’s litigation practice group as associates. They will assist clients with contract and business disputes, and other general litigation matters.
Fitzgerald received degrees from the University of Richmond School of Law and the University of Virginia. Before joining the firm she served as a law clerk for the Hon. Beverly W. Snukals, presiding judge for the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond. Phillips graduated from the University of Richmond School of Law and Christopher Newport University. He previously served as a law clerk for the Hon. William L. Osteen Jr., U.S. District Court chief judge for the Middle District of North Carolina.
Bar Service and Leadership
Roman Lifson has been appointed to DRI’s Law Institute, the committee that oversees all of the organizaion’s educational conferences. Lifson has chaired several DRI conferences and served in various leadership roles in DRI’s Product Liability Committee.
Bar Service and Leadership
Peyton M. Stroud is a member of the Faison Center’s Junior Board. The Faison Center is a non-profit educational and treatment center serving individuals and families impacted by autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities.
These items have been provided as an informational service and do not constitute legal counsel or advice, which can only be rendered in the context of specific factual situations. If a legal issue should arise, please contact an attorney listed or retain the assistance of other competent legal counsel. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case and results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case undertaken.