Retailers who host third-party content and comments on their websites have until the end of 2017 to register as internet service providers through the new online system in order to preserve their protections under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (“DMCA”) safe harbor provisions. The online system launched about a year ago, and if service providers do not register before the end of 2017, any designations submitted before December 2016 will expire and become invalid, which could result in a service provider losing the safe harbor protections.

Previously, agent designations were submitted to the Copyright Office in paper form.  The Copyright Office would then make those forms available through an online index of internet service providers.  The paper-generated directory contains significant inaccuracies and outdated information.  Under the new system, DMCA agents are required to register through the online system, and update their contact information to renew their designations at least every three