On October 31, the United States Copyright Office issued a final rule revising the registration process for DMCA designated agents. The new rule became effective December 1, 2016, and requires that every company seeking to register a designated agent file an electronic registration on the U.S. Copyright Office’s website. Any company that registered a designated agent prior to December 1, 2016, must re-register the agent through the new online system prior to December 31, 2017. The registration fee will also be revised from $105 (plus $35 for each additional ten alternate names) to $6 (with no additional fees). The new rule further requires designated agents to be renewed every three years.
Tip: In order for an online service provider (e.g., companies offering a website) to qualify for safe harbor protection under the DMCA, in addition to posting a DMCA policy and procedure, the online service provider must register a designated agent with the Copyright Office. Companies that previously registered a DMCA designated agent through a paper form will need to re-register the agent through the new online system before December 31, 2017, in order to remain eligible for DMCA safe harbor protection.