If you previously used a paper form to register a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) designated agent for your website, you must re-register online by December 31, 2017, to maintain your “safe-harbor” defense.

The DMCA safe-harbor rules apply to content on your website that you don’t control but that infringes someone else’s copyright. The content could be in the form of user-provided comments or property information and pictures from an IDX feed.

Designating and registering an agent to receive takedown notices gives you some protection against a copyright infringement claim, as it helps copyright holders contact the appropriate person to take infringing content down.

Along with the new requirement to register online, the U.S Copyright Office reduced the fee to designate an agent from $105 to $6. Registration for DMCA designated agents must be renewed every three years.

Note that safe-harbor rules also require you to post on your website (and keep updated) additional ownership and contact information.

Texas REALTORS® has a free model policy for members with information about the DMCA. .

Create an account and register a DMCA designated agent online.