YouTube.We have all heard about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and have seen the warning message placed on movie rentals, music CDs and even on
Most business owners, however, do not know that the DMCA extends to content on a website as well. Business owners can be held liable for any infringing content on their website. Infringing content includes texts, images, and videos uploaded by both the owner of the website or by someone posting on the website.
(1) Registering a DMCA Agent
A DMCA Agent is an agent designated by the website owner to receive notifications regarding any copyright infringement on your website. Designating an agent at the US Copyright office is straight forward; simply fill out the form and pay the required fee. It would be prudent to include a notice on a business website that provides instructions on how to contact the designated DMCA Agent.
(2) Terms and Conditions
Terms and Conditions of a website outline the rules that the users of the website have to follow. It is a good idea to mention the legal consequences of copyright infringement in the Terms and Conditions section because it may deter potential infringement. Please remember that the warning by itself is insufficient to avoid liability. The website owner is still under the obligation to monitor its website for any infringing material.
In the eventuality that a website owner does receive notice of infringing material on their website, the DMCA allows the website owner to remove the offending material without incurring any liability.
It is advisable that a business owner contact an attorney who is familiar with the field and can assist the business in registering a DMCA Agent and in drafting Terms and Conditions for a website.