Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), an online service provider, such as a website that allows users to post content or store content on its systems, or a discussion forum, or a chatroom, can qualify for a safe harbor from copyright infringement claims. See 17 U.S.C. § 512 (c). To qualify for the safe harbor, the service provider must (1) designate an agent by providing contact information to receive copyright infringement claims on its website, and (2) provide substantially the same contact information to the Copyright Office. See 17 U.S.C. § 512 (c)(2).
On December 1, 2016, the US Copyright Office changed its system for designating a DMCA agent.
The new system is available at https://www.copyright.gov/dmca-directory. Under the new system, agents must be designated using an on-line form (available at the link on the right side under “Access the Registration System”) instead of a paper form, designations cost $6, and designations must be renewed every three (3) years.
As an additional effect, If you previously designated an agent using a paper form, that designation expires on December 31, 2017. Thus, to maintain the continuity of the safe harbor, you need to submit a designation using the new on-line system before the end of the year.
Finally, because designations expire after three (3) years, we suggest that you add a renewal notice to your calendars.