Copyright Safe Harbor Portal for Tech Services

If you develop apps for third parties, or even if you simply link third party content within your website or app, you should be aware of a new registration portal created by the U.S. Copyright Office to take advantage of the copyright safe harbor from infringement liability.

Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the “DMCA”) provides a safe harbor from copyright infringement liability for online service providers that merely host third party content. These days, that is almost every commercial website and app. Technology services companies that host websites and apps should, therefore, take note of the new portal.

Under the DMCA, in order to take advantage of the safe harbor, online service providers are required to name a designated agent to receive copyright infringement notices and make that information public on the website. Until now, agent designations were required to be filed with the Copyright Office on a paper form. Effective December 1, 2016, all new agent designations must be submitted via a new electronic filing system. The new system is public, searchable a public, searchable, and much more user-friendly than the previous paper system.

Service providers are required to timely update information in the online system when it has changed and agent designations will expire after three years. Failure to keep this information current can invalidate the copyright safe harbor for online service providers.

Additionally, the online system substantially reduces the cost to register a DMCA designated agent. The Copyright Office has reduced the fee from $105 (and up) to a flat fee of $6 per designation.

While the agent designation filing is only one of many conditions and requirements that a service provider must satisfy to be entitled to the copyright safe harbor, it has become much easier to satisfy the agent designation requirement. If you have questions or concerns about copyrights and your website or app, please call us at 407-792-0790.

Meehle & Jay and Suzanne have been our counsel for Echo Interaction Group since the inception of our company. Her guidance has gone above and beyond the typical small tech business attorney and she's become a trusted advisor to our firm. Her knowledge of small business legal needs and specifically in the technology and startup world have been crucial to the growth of our company.

Carlos Carbonell, CEO, Echo Interaction Group

I couldn't be happier with my decision to hire Meehle & Jay as our entertainment attorneys!  When you deal with a lot of people, it's critical for a business to have all of their i's dotted and their t's crossed, and it's huge relief to know that Meehle & Jay is doing that for us.

Rob Henlon, Fierce Entertainment 

I use Meehle & Jay to represent my Event Planning Business and they are nothing short of phenomenal. Not only do I get email reminders to make sure I am staying on top of my legal priorities, the professional advice they have offered me, in conjunction with their legal expertise, makes me feel confident that I can do business competitively while still having my assets and reputation protected.  A class act all the way around.

Michelle Widmer, Founder & Director of Events, The Empress Table

Davey Jay handles all our company's copyrights. Excellent knowledge and response time, highly recommend this firm.

Rodney E. Luke, President, Luke Brothers Custom Homes

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