Under United States law, an Internet company may be found liable for copyright infringement by user generated content unless the company registers a "designated agent" with the United States Copyright Office. New online procedures make such registration easier for non-U.S. companies. Companies that have already registered a designated agent should be aware that they are required to register again using the new system before December 31, 2017.
Background & Analysis
In certain situations, Internet companies may be held liable for copyright infringement by content uploaded by their users. United States law provides a "safe harbor" for such companies: a company that satisfies all the requirements of the "safe harbor" will not be held liable for copyright infringement by such user content. The requirements of the safe harbor include an obligation to expeditiously take down content once the Internet company is notified that the content is infringing, and an obligation to provide contact information so that a copyright holder can notify the Internet company of the presence of the infringing content.
Another requirement often overlooked by Israeli companies is an obligation to register a "designated agent" with the United States Copyright Office. The Copyright Office makes all contact information for such designated agents available online. The purpose of registering the designated agent is so that a copyright owner will be able to quickly find the appropriate contact information in order to notify the Internet company of the presence of infringing material. Companies that...