You have questions. We have answers. If we don’t cover your question below, drop us a message through the Contact page on the menu above.
Q: Do I need a third party to be my agent?
A: No. You can do it yourself. Many people are hesitant to, however, since your personal information including name, email address, and phone number is listed in the public Copyright Office database as well as on your site or app. At a minimum, you are looking at a tsunami of email spam and sales calls. In a worst case scenario, critics and weirdos can start contacting you or show up at your door.
Q. What does it cost?
A: $70 a year. The charge is for the full year and not refunded should you change your mind halfway through the year. We will contact you roughly a month before the renewal period to see if you wish to continue for another year. If not, you can cancel and register a new agent with the Copyright Office and amend your DMCA policy.
Q. I thought the fee was $60 a year?
A: It was. And gas was once 50 cents a gallon. Gas costs more now, and so do we as of February 2017.
Q. How many domains or apps can I use you as an agent on with the service?
A: The $70 fee covers up to a total of 20 domains and apps.
Q: Does the $70 fee cover the fee charged by the Copyright Office for registering a DMCA agent?
A: Yes. The Copyright Office now requires you renew each DMCA agent registration every three years, and we’ll also cover that fee as well if you are still using us as an agent.
Q. Can I use a Post Office box as my business address?
A: Unfortunately, the answer is no…with a caveat mentioned below. The Copyright Office specifically states [you are a service provider]:
“What information must be made available on a service provider’s website [or app] and provided to the Copyright Office to designate an agent?
Answer: A service provider is required to supply its full legal name, physical street address (not a post office box), any alternate names used by the service provider, and the name, organization, physical mail address (street address or post office box), telephone number, and email address of its designated agent.”
Just to be clear, this policy means the following information for your business must appear in the online database and where the DMCA agent information is listed on your site or app:
Your Business Name, LLC or Inc.
Your real street address
Your real city, state, and zip [or relevant country info]
All protected properties
Bob Smith, LLC
123 Street Lane
San Diego, California 92014
How To Eat Yummy Worms App
Obviously, this is a problem if you work from home or promote sensitive content. The Copyright Office recognizes the potential problem but doesn’t provide a great solution. You can petition for the right to use a post office box as your business address. Specifically, the Copyright Office states:
“Question: Are there any circumstances under which I can provide a P.O. Box for the service provider’s address?
Yes, but only with prior approval of the Copyright Office, which will only be given upon written request and in exceptional circumstances, such where there is a demonstrable threat to an individual’s personal safety or security, such that it may be dangerous to publicly publish a street address where such individual can be located. To obtain a waiver, the service provider must send a signed letter, addressed to the “U.S. Copyright Office, Office of the General Counsel” and sent to the address for time-sensitive requests set forth in 37 C.F.R. 201.1(c)(1), containing the following information: (1) the name of the service provider; (2) the post office box address that the service provider wishes to use; (3) a detailed statement providing the reasons supporting the request, with explanation of the specific threat(s) to an individual’s personal safety or security; and (4) an email address and/or physical mail address for any responsive correspondence from the Office. There is no fee associated with making this request. If the request is approved, the service provider may display the post office box address on its website and will receive instructions from the Office as to how to complete the Office’s electronic registration process.”
Nobody is entirely sure what “exceptional circumstances” means, but there isn’t any drawback to at least trying to get permission other than you have to wait for a response. The Copyright Office is not known for being particularly quick.
You can find the mailing address for the petition by doing a Google search for “37 C.F.R. 201.1(c)(1).” We don’t list the address here because it might change in the future and we sure as hell aren’t willing to monitor the Code of Federal Regulations each week!
Q: Do you evaluate the DMCA takedown notices?
A: No. We simply forward the notices to you. You can then evaluate them on your own or speak with legal counsel. The response to such a notice must occur within 24 to 48 hours, so you need to have a plan in place. This book can help.
Q. Can you recommend an attorney to help me?
A. No. We hope to have an attorney directory in the future, but we don’t currently recommend anyone in particular. You should search for an “internet lawyer” in your area on the search engines to identify potential counsel.
Q. Will you act as an agent for porn sites?
A. After much internal debate, we no longer take porn sites as clients.
Q. Do you know the winning numbers for the next Powerball Lottery?
A. No, but we’re partial to 3, 11, 18, 27, 35, and 67. Remember us if you win.