Last November, Cooley issued an alert advising that the Copyright Office had implemented a new rule requiring all service providers sheltering under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbor to re-register in an online database contact information for their agent to receive notices of copyright infringement under the DMCA. Under the new rules, service providers that had complied with previous paper-based registration requirements were given until December 2017 to re-register their agent information in the new electronic system.
In an effort to ensure that no service providers inadvertently miss the deadline, the Copyright Office has now started to send reminder emails to current designated agents and primary and secondary contacts, reminding them of the registration deadline. These emails look like this:
U.S. Copyright Office Official Notice: Re-Register DMCA Agent in New Electronic System
Dear Designated Agent:
Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") service providers can obtain safe harbor from copyright infringement liability by, among other things, designating an agent to receive notifications of claimed copyright infringement.
You are receiving this email because you are listed as the designated agent for an online service provider in the U.S. Copyright Office's old, paper-based designation system. In December 2016, the Office introduced an online registration system. As part of the transition to the new system, the Office is requiring that any service provider that designated an agent with the Office in the old paper system must submit a new designation electronically using the online registration system by December 31, 2017 if it wishes to maintain an active designation with the Office. Registration in the new system only costs $6 and only takes a few minutes.
For more information about the new system, please visit https://www.copyright.gov/dmca-directory/. From this page you can access the new system to complete the registration process, review answers to frequently asked questions, and watch video tutorials showing how to use the new system.
Please note that any designation made in the old paper-based registration system will only continue to be valid until December 31, 2017, after which it will expire.
If you have already registered in the new electronic system, you can ignore this message.
Please do not reply to this message as it is being sent from an unattended mailbox. If you have any questions, or you do not wish to receive these reminders, please contact the Copyright Office at email@example.com or (202) 707-1759.
U.S. Copyright Office
We have received a number of inquiries from clients about whether this is a legitimate email from the Copyright Office. It is legitimate. In fact, the Copyright Office plans to send these notices approximately monthly between now and the end of 2017. You may even continue to receive these notices after you have re-registered.
While these notices are legitimate, it is always possible that you will receive phishing emails relating to the new registration process. Please remain vigilant. Do not provide identifying information to anyone outside of the Copyright Office's database, and do not make any payments outside of the payment processing system. If you receive a notice and are unsure of its authenticity, please feel free to ask us.
Most important, remember that you will need to complete the online registration by December 31, 2017, and renew it every three years, to continue to enjoy the valuable protections of the DMCA safe harbor.