A blog about patent, copyright and trademark law in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York

Court Denies DMCA Safe Harbor Protection to Subsidiary Not Specifically Named in Copyright Office Directory

In a June 30, 2015 ruling, Judge J. Paul Oetken found that a Digital Millennium Copyright Act notice filed with the Copyright Office directory under 17 U.S.C. § 512 to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions for internet service providers does not protect subsidiaries of the filer that are not specifically named. Judge Oetken noted that the statute requires the filing to contain the “‘Full Legal Name of Service Provider,’” and concluded that “the statute does not contemplate that a service provider entity can be shielded by the safe harbor where that entity has no presence at all in the [Copyright Office] directory.” The Court further found it “implausible that parties attempting to find a provider’s DMCA agent designation, using the [Copyright Office’s] database are expect to have independent knowledge of the corporate structure of a particular service provider.”
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