Remember to file your online copyright registration by Dec. 31

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Digital housekeeping Editor’s note: The following excerpt is from Jean Maneke’s February 2017 column, which appeared in that month’s Bulletin.

 

By Jean Maneke MPA Legal Counsel 

All of you with websites who allow public comments (and that is probably everyone) should have registered with the United States Copyright Office the name of an agent to receive notification of claims of copyright infringement. We talked about that in a column that ran in the MPA Press News back in April 2011. But, of course, that means that it is likely you filed this form with the office back in 2011 and haven’t thought about it since. So, first, you might want to see who you have listed at the copyright office as your agent for receipt of copyright violation notices.

The contact information for that person must also be listed on your website, so this will be a good doublecheck that your business’ websites all have current information for this contact. And then, once you’ve done that, you should go through the process of completing the online registration form to file this information with the U.S. Copyright Office. Effective in December 2016, that office will no longer accept paper copies of these notices. From now on, that information will only be accepted through their online portal and effective December 31, 2017, only the registrations done through the online system will be considered valid.

You can find more information about this portal and system at https://www. copyright.gov/dmca-directory/ and to file a registration, you will need to create a login account (see the right hand side of the website).

To reiterate, you will have to do this before the end of 2017 to protect your rights under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, so I recommend you take care of this right away.

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