by Derek Gendron, March 28, 2008
When we filed the Federal lawsuit against the big pattern companies and Digital River, we learned some of the tactics of attorneys that spouted Digital Millennium Copyright Act claims, how they twist the letter of the law to their favor.
One of the little known ways is going to be disclosed here.
The Federal government established a program for WebHosts to register their designated Copyright Agent with the US Copyright office, per law. Many do not know about this and therefore, many do not register. The first thing a lawyer attempts to do when filing a DMCA complaint/lawsuit is to find leverage against the ISP hosting the website. If it refuses to take down an alleged offending website and it has not registered as its designated copyright agent, they use this as leverage against them. A sort of, do things my way or you will face charges for this approach…
Now in most communities in the world, using this leverage against someone is considered extortion, blackmail or other interesting terms. In law, it’s research and helping enforce the laws on the books.
Anyway, the registration process to avoid this type of DMCA takedown complication is fairly simply. Download the PDF Form and fill it out. There is a fee to register your webhost/ISP, and it has been steadily increasing in cost each year so I anticipate that the fee will continue to rise. Registering now won’t protect you from a lawsuit or claim, but it will take one leg out of a lawyer’s claims against you. The less legs they have to stand on, the less briefs you will have to file.
If I can dig up the letter from the opposing attorney about this matter, I will post it here later. That way you can clearly see the approach of attorneys with this agenda in mind.
Some of you may not want to register your host – while it currently isn’t an enforced offense, the penalties are not clear, it just gives an opposing counsel a stronger case. And, they can use this information to go upline to your IP provider and more than likely, kill you IPs…