Current copyright law allows for protections, or safe harbors, for website owners if their users post infringing material. In order to qualify for these protections, website owners must participate in notice-and-takedown producers upon receipt of an infringement claim. Website owners are also required to have a designated agent registered with the Copyright Office who will handle any such complaints.
Recently, the Copyright Office amended the process a website owner must go through in order to name this designated agent and now requires every website owner to re-register an agent with the Office by no later than Dec. 31, 2017. All website owners will also be required to renew this agent registration every three years. Any website owner who does not comply with this new process will not be protected by the safe harbor laws and can be held responsible for any infringement by third parties on their website.