Digital Millenium Copyright Act

29 May

Updated Dec 28, 2017 – Legal.com

Enacted in 1998, Title II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act limits the liability of certain Internet service providers, for storing works at the direction of a user, that are protected by copyright.

(1) In general.—A service provider shall not be liable for monetary relief, or, except as provided in subsection (j), for injunctive or other equitable relief, for infringement of copyright by reason of the storage at the direction of a user of material that resides on a system or network controlled or operated by or for the service provider, if the service provider—

(A)(i) does not have actual knowledge that the material or an activity using the material on the system or network is infringing;

(ii) in the absence of such actual knowledge, is not aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent; or

(iii) upon obtaining such knowledge or awareness, acts expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material;

(B) does not receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity, in a case in which the service provider has the right and ability to control such activity; and

(C) upon notification of claimed infringement as described in paragraph (3), responds expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity.

17 USC § 512(c)

For the DMCA to apply, the provider must have taken certain steps including, among other things:

  • Designating an agent to receive notifications of claimed infringement;
  • electronically registering its agent’s designation with the DMCA Designated Agent Directory;
  • posting this information in a publicly accessible area of the provider’s Web site.

In December 2016, the Copyright Office introduced an online registration system and electronically generated directory to replace its old paper-based system and directory. After December 31, 2017, to designate an agent, a service provider must register with and use the Copyright Office’s online system.

The regulation describing how to designate (or amend the designation of) an agent to receive notifications of claimed infringement, is 37 CFR §201.38.

Example: Legal.com’s DMCA Notice

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