Copyright Office Proposed Rulemaking on Designation of DMCA Agents For Takedown Notices

The Copyright Office has announced a proposed rulemaking to update the procedures and requirements for online service providers to designate an agent to receive notices of copyright infringement under the DMCA safe harbor provisions.

One of the key proposed changes is the Office’s move to electronic filing of the designations, which would be stored in a publicly accessible online database.  This would be a great improvement over the current paper-based system.  The Office also proposes requiring each online service provider to verify the accuracy of the designation every two years, and allowing OSPs to delegate maintenance of the designations to third parties.  There are lots of other proposed changes (and lots of new proposed fees), and specific requests for public input.

The Office has published proposed new regulations, and is seeking public comments, which may be submitted at the Copyright Office website.

Here is a copy of the Notice from the Federal Register, with all the details:


Copyright Registration Alert: Copyright Office Extends Interim Rule for Expedited Registration

The Copyright Office has extended its interim rule allowing (in limited circumstances) free conversion of a regular application to the expedited “special handling” track if the regular application has been pending without Copyright Office action for over six months.

The Copyright Office’s transition from an antiquated and byzantine “paper” processing system to a streamlined electronic system has been, well, interesting. . . .  One unintended consequence has been a backlog, particularly with respect to applicants who for whatever reason choose to still use the old paper application process.  In recognition of this issue, the Copyright Office issued an interim rule in 2009, allowing applicants caught in that backlog for over six months to convert a regular application to special handling status (meaning that the application will typically be acted upon within one week) with a waiver of the special handling fee.  Although special handing (if you choose it and pay the fee) is available upon a showing of compelling need due to (1) pending or prospective litigation; (2) customs matters; or (3) contractual or publishing deadlines, an applicant may only take advantage of the fee waiver upon showing that the applicant is about to file suit for copyright infringement.

This interim rule was set to expire on July 1, 2011, but the Office has now extended it for another year until July 1, 2012.

Here is the Federal Register notice:



Copyright Office Clarifies Rules For “Gap Grant” Terminations

No, this post has nothing to do with blue jeans.  It concerns the termination of copyright grants, including licenses and assignments.  The Copyright Office has issued new regulations, which will help authors and their lawyers navigate a lacuna, or gap, in the Copyright Act’s termination provisions. [Read more…]