The Copyright Office made a number of changes to the DMCA agent registration process when it converted from a paper to digital registration system in December 2016. One of the new rules requires businesses to renew their registration every three years for an outrageous fee of $6. The good news is renewing your DMCA agent registration is very simple.
DMCA Agent Renewal
Why require the renewal when the Copyright Office did not previously require it with the old system? Did you ever take a look at the old agent database? The database was a complete disaster. The Copyright Office faced a scenario where nearly 70 percent of the entries were incorrect in one way or another. Some companies went out of business but didn’t remove their registrations. Other companies moved to a new location but didn’t update the information in the database. In short, the Copyright Office had a mess on its hands.
The Copyright Office is hoping the three-year renewal requirement will solve the problems. Consider the two main issues. If a company moves, the renewal process should force the company to review and update its data every three years. If an organization goes out of business, then its agent information will naturally fall out of the database when the company fails to renew when the three year period ends.
How do you renew? You will no doubt be shocked to learn much of the process involves submitting the renewal payment.
Has the new online registration renewal process been a success? I would have to say yes – definitely. We used to see a ton of garbage listings in the database. The garbage is now gone. Perhaps more important, the initial registration and renewal fees are both $6. This cost is much lower than the de facto $140 fee one had to pay when registering in the old, offline system.
Renewing your DMCA agent might seem a bit annoying, but it is a necessity under the DMCA. Companies are required to keep their information up to date, which provides security from lawsuits. Obviously, that qualifies as a benefit.