Skip to comments.Copyright Office Seeks To Make It More Difficult To Retain DMCA Safe Harbors
Posted on 12/29/2011 2:08:51 AM PST by Jim Robinson
Almost missed this one, but Eric Goldman alerts us to the dozen comments filed with the US Copyright Office concerning its plan to force everyone to keep re-registering their official DMCA agent in order to keep retaining the DMCA's safe harbors. As we've discussed in the past, in order to make use of the DMCA's safe harbors, you have to register an official DMCA agent with the Copyright Office. In fact, we've suggested that anyone running a blog or forum site do exactly that. Many of the companies that were successfully sued by Righthaven (before it was discovered Righthaven didn't really have the copyrights it needed) were caught because they failed to register a DMCA agent. While I think that such sites could make a reasonable argument in court that they still were not liable, it's a lot more difficult (and costly) to do so.
However, for reasons that escape me, the Copyright Office is thinking of making it much easier for companies to lose their safe harbor protections by requiring them to regularly re-register with the Copyright Office, or have their agent tossed out. This is part of a larger -- and useful -- effort to make the process of registering electronic, rather than the paper one it is today. That's a good thing. But dumping the database and requiring periodic re-registering is fraught with problems. The Copyright Office appears to defend this process on two grounds: first that some companies have gone out of business, and yet their DMCA agent listings live on and second, that copyright holders may want to know if a service provider is in compliance on the date of infringement.
(Excerpt) Read more at techdirt.com ...
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Thanks for the ping....I’m watching this one....