How to Avoid ISP Liability

You can easily avoid liability as an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Historically, you may be held liable for copyright infringement if you have contributed to its publication, for example, to publish it in your newsletter. However, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has created “safe harbor” for ISPs. If you follow a few steps, this safe harbor protects you from liability. First of all, you must An agent must be registered with the Copyright Office. You should then take down any infringing material immediately after you have not been notified by the copyright holder.

Registering Your Agent with the Copyright Office

Nominate an agent to receive complaints. When someone sees that their songs or novels are pirated and posted on a website, then they would like to complain to the ISP which is hosting the website. You need to nominate an agent to receive these complaints. If you are a small business, then you will probably be an agent.

The US Copyright Office will host a directory of agents. You must register your agent with the directory.

Download the registration form. The Copyright Office publishes a template that you can complete to designate your agent. It is available in PDF format at Go to the website and type in your information. You can also print the form and enter the information with the typewriter.

Fill the form Collect all the necessary information before completing the form. In this way, you can complete the form in a meeting. You will need the following information:

ISP’s full legal name

You do business under every other name

ISP address

Full address of named agent

Agent’s phone and fax number

Agent’s email address


Signature of an official or representative for ISP

Mail the form to the Copyright Office. Once you complete the form, make a copy for your records. Fully match: U.S. Copyright Office, Designated Agent, P.O. Box 71537, Washington, DC 20024-1537.

Remember to include a check for your fees. It costs $ 105 to register an agent for your ISP. You must pay an additional fee to register the agent for your alternate business names. You have to pay $ 35 for ten alternate business names.

Pay your check for “register of copyright”

If necessary, modify your registration. You can change your agent at some point in the future. For example, an employee can leave your business or you can merge into another company and only one agent may be required. In this situation, you can download a form from the US Copyright Office to change your agent.

The form is available at

This form asks information like the other form and can be mailed to the address listed on the form.

Include your check payable for “register of coprites”, if the agent costs $ 105 to replace and if you have 10 alternative business names, the additional $ 35.

Avoiding Liability for Copyright Infringement

Avoid receiving financial benefits from infringement. If you intentionally violate the content and receive financial benefits, then you can not seek safe harbor protection. For example, you can not intentionally host the work of infringement and get benefits such as those who purchase e-book versions that are pirated.

Realize that you do not need to monitor your ISP. The purpose of safe harbor provision is to give the ISP relief from responsibility for monitoring its customers. You have no obligation to know if a customer is infringing copyright.

However, if you have real knowledge of copyright infringement, you can not get safe protection. Should you be aware that the infringing content has been posted on your network, you should remove it – even if the copyright holder notifies you.

Respond to any “takedown” notice immediately. When a person watches his pirated work on a website, he will get an ISP who is hosting the website and then will search for the registered agent of that ISP. Then the person can send a takedown notice to the ISP agent. In this notice, the person will identify the violation work that appears on your network and will include their contact information.

It should also be noted in the notice that the person is complaining in “good faith” and the information is accurate that “under the penalty of crime”. It must also include the signature of a copyright holder or an authorized agent of the person.

Take the incomplete disdain notice seriously. Federal courts disagree that what happens if someone sends an incomplete incomplete notice. For example, anyone may include all information other than a statement which they are filing in harmony. Some courts have said that you can ignore the incomplete notice, while other courts have said that the notice only requires “adequate compliance” with the requirements.

To protect yourself, all the notices you receive should be taken seriously. If you can identify the material they are mentioning, take it down and follow with the customer. If you can not identify which content is allegedly being violated, ask the person who has filed a takedown notice for more details.

Remove content immediately. You will not be liable for copyright infringement as an ISP if you remove content immediately or otherwise block the customer who uploaded it. Come up with a policy where you review any notices made before leaving home in the morning or as the last thing. In this way, you will periodically get used to addressing issues of potential violation.

You need to adopt “first take down, ask questions later” attitude. Obviously, some claims of copyright infringement will be false. Some people will just send a takedown notice to disturb a competitor. However, to protect yourself, you must first move the material down.

If necessary, terminate infringer’s account DMCA also requires that you have policies to eliminate the customer’s account. After moving the content down, you should contact the customer who posted it. Ask the person who shows you the proof of their copyright.

If the customer can show proof of their copyright, then you do not need to terminate the offender’s account. You can also put content back.

Ideally, the customer will be able to produce proof of copyright registration.

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