Home > News > Pepper Law Warns of Need to Register DMCA Agents • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


Pepper Law Warns of Need to Register DMCA Agents

Pepper Law Warns of Need to Register DMCA Agents
Get XBIZ News
Jul 14, 2014 3:00 PM PDT    Text size: 

NEW YORK — Adult website operators seeking to operate under DMCA “safe harbor” exemptions need to ensure they are following the law, in the wake of a recent court decision.

According to attorney Dan Pepper (www.informationlaw.com), if a company hasn’t registered an agent designated to receive DMCA notices with the U.S. Copyright Office, that company is liable for copyright infringement resulting from content posted by its website’s users.

Writing in his Technology Law blog, Pepper explained that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) offers safe harbors that protect Internet service providers, including website operators, from liability for copyright infringing activities by users of their sites and services; but in order to obtain these protections, the service providers and sites must adhere to the “notice and takedown” procedures outlined in 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(2), among other specific statutory requirements.

These “notice and takedown” procedures provide copyright holders with a mechanism for eliminating infringing content from sites and services not authorized to display this material.

Calling it an “oft-forgotten critical step” that has proven fatal for at least one service provider, Pepper highlights the statute’s requirements for identifying and registering a designated agent to receive DMCA notices.

“Specifically, an ISP must designate an agent, post on its website contact information for the agent so that copyright owners can contact the ISP, and register the agent’s name address, phone number, and e-mail address with the Copyright Office,” Pepper notes, citing the recent Oppenheimer v. Allvoices, Inc., decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

In this case, the court found that DMCA only provides a “safe harbor” when an agent is designated to receive notifications of claimed infringement. The court also invalidated Allvoices’ argument that it had complied with the DMCA by designating a registered agent after being notified via other channels that allegedly infringing content appeared on its site.

“[The court] stated that Section 512 (c) (2) ‘plainly specifies that a registered agent is a predicate, express condition’ that must be met in order for the statutory exemption to apply,” Pepper explains. “The court held that the service provider could not invoke the safe harbor provisions found in Section 512 with respect to infringing conduct that occurred prior to its designating a DMCA-related agent with the Copyright Office, and refused to dismiss the complaint on those grounds.”

This decision should serve as a wakeup call to adult website operators that believed they could take a responsive approach to DMCA compliance, only “bothering” when they are “caught,” rather than the proactive pre-registration required by the Act.

Pepper advises site owners to search the Copyright Office’s website (www.copyright.gov) to see if their site has registered a designated agent.

“If it’s not there, make sure you designate one at the Copyright Office and make that information available to the public on your website,” Pepper concludes. “As the Oppenheimer case revealed, the consequences [of not doing so] can be devastating.”

For more information, visit www.informationlaw.com.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !


WIA Profile: Kate Hodgson-Egan

Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of... More »

Q&A: Holiday Products Founder Moe Levy Reflects on Decades of Career Accomplishments

Born and raised in the Bronx, N.Y., as an only child, Moe Levy learned to become business savvy at an early age from his parents. Even more importantly, Levy says his parents instilled in him their people-oriented... More »

AWSummit’s Alexandru Gheorghe Has Eyes Set on Growth

The AWSummit has quickly made its mark and has become a top draw for chat hosts, studios and cam sites from all over the world. Founded by CEO Alexandru Gheorghe just two years ago, the cam-centric AW... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ Premiere magazine, the industry's leading adult retail trade publications, delivering the most timely and comprehensive business news and information to producers and retailers of adult products.


XBIZ 2017

Jan 09 - Jan 13
Hollywood, CA

XBIZ Awards 2017

Jan 12 - Jan 12
Los Angeles, CA

ANME Founders Show

Jan 14 - Jan 15
Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport

Everything To Do With Sex Show

Jan 20 - Jan 22
Montréal, Québec
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!