Newly implemented rule changes now require electronic filing for best protection from online copyright infringement liability.
Websites that allow users to post content on the site are known as online service providers (OSPs).
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides safe harbors that protect OSPs from liability for the copyright infringement of their users. Under the DMCA, OSPs are required to designate an agent with the Copyright Office to handle copyright infringement take down requests. Historically, the Copyright Office maintained its directory of agents in a paper-generated system but began transitioning to a new electronically generated system in December 2016.
As of January 1, 2018, OSPs who had previously submitted their designated agent using the paper-generated system must submit a new designation using the electronically generated system. OSPs that fail to designate an agent using the new system risk eligibility for protection from copyright infringement liability under the DMCA safe harbors.