Avoid Online Copyright Infringement Lawsuits Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

By on

If your website allows others to post or upload content, online copyright infringement lawsuits are probably at the top of your list of worries. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides a safe harbor for “online service providers” that can protect you against online copyright infringement lawsuits, but only if you comply with the DMCA safe harbor provisions. While it’s relatively easy to comply with copyright laws and maintain copyright infringement immunity under the DMCA safe harbor, many online service providers fail to do so.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act Safe Harbor

The procedures required to comply with copyright laws and to maintain online copyright infringement immunity under the DMCA safe harbor is a simple three-step process.

1. Designate an agent to receive copyright infringement notices and provide the agent’s contact information on your website so that third parties may submit copyright infringement notices (DMCA take down notice).

2. Register the agent for copyright infringement notice with the U.S. Copyright Office.

3. When you receive a DMCA take down notice, quickly remove the content or block its access.

DMCA Take Down Notice Procedures

To establish good DMCA take down notice policies, it’s a good idea to include copyright infringement notice procedures in the Terms of Use on your website. The Terms of Use should state the specific information to submit with a DMCA take down notice, including user representations and evidence of copyright infringement, and evidence that the user is the owner of the copyright with the authority to enforce a copyright infringement notice.

Setting up good policies and procedures in the beginning allows you to act responsibly pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbor provisions, and also ensures that you won’t unnecessarily remove content due to illegitimate copyright infringement notices. Our Austin business law firm regularly advises clients regarding intellectual property rights, including copyright laws and would be pleased to consult with your company. Contact our office today.

Tags: , , , , , , ,