Damn Good Reminder: If You Run A Blog, Register For DMCA Protections
from the don't-forget,-yo dept
Righthaven famously started suing lots of websites earlier this year for having some materials from the Las Vegas Review-Journal posted on their sites. In some cases, the content was posted by the owner of the sites in question, but in many cases, it involved content posted in forums or comments by users. Now, as you know, the DMCA creates safe harbors for sites where users post content — but it’s only if you’ve designated an official DMCA agent with the Copyright Office. After more and more Righthaven cases started showing up, we noticed a pattern. In talking with some of the sites that were sued, as well as some of the lawyers trying to fight Righthaven, it became apparent (quickly) that Righthaven was clearly avoiding sites that had a registered DMCA agent, and basically was relying on the fact that many websites were ignorant of the need to register. So, back in September, we noted, as a bit of a public service announcement, that if you ran any kind of site that allows for public participation, you should register with the copyright office. Seriously. Do it now.
A bunch of folks have sent over a Wired article highlighting the same thing and urging people to go register. While we’ve already made the same point, it’s such an important point, that we’re going to repeat it again, and urge you to register again.
Oh, and in an amusing bit of irony, in the Righthaven lawsuit that the EFF got involved in, one of the points it noted was that the Las Vegas Review-Journal itself appeared to have not designated a DMCA agent, meaning that while it (via Righthaven) was suing sites for forgetting this basic step, it was leaving itself open to the same sort of issue with its open forum. Of course, since then it appears that this has been corrected, but it looks like Stephens Media only registered in August of this year… So it does seem a bit ironic that the company relying so heavily on people forgetting to designate DMCA agents apparently did the same itself.