Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) any website that allows site users to post content, including anything such as comments, reviews or videos is considered a “Service Provider.” A Service Provider is potentially exposed to copyright infringement liability based on content posted by site users. However, the DMCA also offers a Safe Harbor that, under certain conditions, can insulate Service Providers from third-party copyright infringement claims based on such user-generated content.
To qualify for protection under this Safe Harbor, the Service Provider must meet certain conditions:
- the Service Provider must not know about or participate in the infringing conduct and cannot benefit from that infringement;
- the Service Provider must promptly remove any infringing content once it discovers same, either on its own discovery or by notice from a third-party; and,
- to qualify for the Safe Harbor, a Service Provider must designate an agent to receive notice of copyright infringement claims and must register the identity of that agent with the U.S. Copyright Office.