Do you have a website that allows users to comment, review, or post anything? If so, you could be liable for their posts that infringe the copyright of another person. Safe harbor immunities can protect you from this liability, but you will lose that protection unless you renew your designated agent information with the Copyright Office within three years after registration. The registration costs only $6.00, but if you registered in 2016, your designation will be expiring before the end of 2019.
The Copyright Office instituted an electronic-only filing system under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) on December 31, 2016. Anyone who registered an agent at that time will need to renew or update that agent information in order to maintain the immunity from copyright infringement granted under the DMCA. Failing to do so opens the website owner to the loss of immunity, risking exposure to significant legal claims based on user-generated content.
If you are not sure whether you have an agent or want to check that the information is current, search the directory here.
To register an agent, create an account here.
If you already have a registered agent, log in to your account. Click the pencil icon next to the designation you want to renew to access a summary screen where you can review or edit your information. From there, click “Edit” if you need to update anything, or click “Preview and Pay” to renew for $6.00 without making any changes.
Your renewal or submission of any interim change begins a new three-year registration period, so please mark your calendar to do this again in 2022 if you are renewing now. You are supposed to get several notices about expiration, but some may go to spam or to an old e-mail address.
Of course, you are also welcome to contact us at McCarter & English for more information and guidance.