MoFo News Item

Compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

11/1/1998

In order to qualify for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's safe harbors for online service providers, the following actions must be taken immediately.

  1. You must adopt a written policy providing for termination of subscribers and account holders who are repeat offenders. The policy should be posted on your web site.
  2. You must designate an agent to receive notification of claimed infringement from the copyright owner. The agent can be an employee of the company, or someone outside your organization. You want to designate someone in a position to respond quickly to any notices of claimed infringement.
  3. You must post the name, address, phone number, and email address of the agent in a publicly accessible place on the website.
  4. You must register the designated agent with the Copyright Office. The Copyright Office just issued interim regulations about this registration. 60 Federal Register 59233. The Copyright Office will not provide forms. Instead, you must label the registration prominently as "Interim Designation of Agent to Receive Notification of Claimed Infringement." You then need to provide the following information: a) the full name and legal address of the service provider; b) all the names under which the service provider is doing business; c) the name of the designated agent; d) the full address, including a specific number and street name, of the agent. A post office box will not be sufficient except where it is the only address that can be used at that geographic location; e) the agent's telephone number, fax number, and email address.

This Interim Designation must be signed by an appropriate officer or representative of the service provider. The signature must be accompanied by the printed or typewritten name and title of the person signing the Interim Designation, and the date of the signature.

The Interim Designation may be filed with the Public Information Office of the Copyright Office, Room LM-401, James Madison Building, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave., SE, Washington, D.C. It also can be mailed to Copyright GC/I&R, PO Box 70400, Southwest Station, Washington, D.C. 20024. The designation must be accompanied by a filing fee of $20.00. The interim regulation does not state to whom the check should be payable, but other Copyright Office fees are payable to the Register of Copyrights.

If the information in the Interim Designation changes -- if, for example, you replace your agent -- you need to file an amended Interim Designation with the Copyright Office, with another $20.00 fee.

Each Interim Designation can apply to only one service provider. The Copyright Office considers related companies, e.g., parents and subsidiaries, which are also service providers to be separate service providers which must file their own Interim Designations.

Once the Copyright Office issues final regulations (after a notice and comment period), you will have to file another Designation, and the filing fee probably will be higher. Because several months may pass before the Copyright Office promulgates final regulations, you should file an Interim Designation if you wish to qualify for the protection of the DMCA's safe harbors.

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