The Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act functions to limit the liability of an online service provider (OSP) for copyright infringement related to storing copyrighted material for a subscriber on a system or network controlled or operated by the OSP.  The OSP has to designate an agent to receive a notification of infringement, provide contact information to the Copyright Office, and post the contact information on the OSP’s website.

The Copyright Office has created a directory of designated agents, based on the contact information provided, to whom infringement notifications may be sent.  See Section 512(c)(3) of the Copyright Act for notification requirements.

Upon receipt of an infringement notification, the OSP must promptly remove, or disable access to, the allegedly infringing material to be afforded the benefit of limited liability.  The OSP is not required to remove the material, but will be deemed to have been placed on notice, and without the benefit of the limited liability, may face secondary liability for continuing to host the material.

The OSP has to timely inform the subscriber (i.e., within 10 days) that the material has been removed

If the subscriber sends the OSP a proper counter notification, the OSP has to replace the material if the copyright owner does not file a timely action (within 14 days) seeking a court order to restrain the subscriber from engaging in infringing activity.

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