Ruttler Mills PLLC

Seattle Patent Attorneys and Trademark Lawyers

206-838-6400 Complimentary 15 Minute Consultation

Upcoming DMCA Rules Taking Effect

Posted Wednesday, October 18, 2017 by Kyle Straughan

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) provided legal safeguards for copyright owners on the internet, is approaching the end of its agent designation grace period. Below are some of the noteworthy changes affecting service providers, a.k.a. entities “offering the transmission, routing, or providing of connections for digital online communications, between or among points specified by a user, of material of the user’s choosing, without modification to the content of the material as sent or received,” that will take effect at the end of the current year.

  1. All service providers, including those who have previously designated a copyright takedown agent using the paper process, are required to submit new designations through the electronic system by December 31, 2017. The Copyright Office ceased accepting paper designations on December 1, 2016.

  2. Service provider copyright agent designations will only be valid for three years after registered with the office. However, amending or resubmitting a current designation will begin a new three-year period.

  3. Service providers are permitted to designate agents in a variety of ways including designating a specific person, a specific job title, a division within the company, or even a third party entity. In the case of a third party however the provider risks safe harbor loss if third party fails to provide accurate information and keep up-to-date designation.

  4. A service provider is required to supply its full legal name, physical street address (not a post office box), telephone number, email address, any alternate names used by the service provider, and the name, organization, physical mail address, telephone number, and email address of its designated agent. The mailing address for the agent may be a Post Office box.

  5. Service providers must also provide any alternative names under which it is doing business “including any names that the service provider would expect members of the public to be likely to use to search the directory for the service provider’s designated agent.” The requirement to provide alternate names is not limited solely to names under which a service provider is doing business, such as a “d/b/a” name. Rather, service providers must list all alternate names that the public would be likely to use to search for the service provider’s designated agent in the directory, including all names under which the service provider is doing business, website names and addresses (i.e., URLs, such as .com or .org), software application names, and other commonly used names.

  6. Separate legal entities such as corporate parents or subsidiaries are NOT considered alternate names but each must have its own separately registered designation.

  7. Related or affiliated service providers that are separate legal entities are considered separate service providers and must have their own designation.

  8. The Office will maintain prior versions of electronic and paper designations for up to 10 years.

Upcoming DMCA Rules Taking Effect ›› Ruttler Mills PLLC