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The federal government implemented the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (“DMCA”) to protect those that use copyrighted material in a digital format. This provides significant liability protection for those who host interactive online media.
“Service providers” are especially vulnerable to infringement. The DMCA defines a service provider as “an entity 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” and “a provider of online services or network access, or the operator of facilities therefore.”
Unfortunately, copyright infringement is still valid even if you did not know the work was copyrighted. This is because the DMCA highlights this exact problem, and the responsibility of obtaining Safe Harbor protection is solely on the owner of the platform. It is especially important to apply for this protection if you do not know if your website has copyrighted material.
The DMCA protects work that is primarily displayed by service providers, which means your platform could be at risk for infringement without this protection. Copyrighted material on a website can include stock images, music, photography and others of the like.
The good news is that applying for Safe Harbor protection is quite simple. To achieve this, you’ll need to create a DMCA Designated Agent account and assign a registered agent. A registered agent can be anyone of your choosing, so once you’ve selected an agent, you can click on the following link to set up an account: https://dmca.copyright.gov/osp/p1.html. Once registered, your platform is immediately covered under Safe Harbor protection. This is an easy step to take to prevent an infringement headache waiting to happen.
Schedule a free consultation with Lloyd & Mousilli to discuss how to avoid committing infringement as well as how to protect yourself from infringers.