For those that want to cut right to the chase, click here to skip to the registration instructions.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is meant to protect Internet Service Providers from liability for copyright infringement when the claims pertain to third-party data they are displaying. The official NAR video does a good job explaining the basic mechanics of the law and what you need to do to be protected under it.
Take our company for example: iHOUSEweb is an Internet Service Provider hosting thousands of REALTOR® websites. We can’t actively police them to prevent against copyrighted content. By registering, posting a DMCA notice, and by following the protocols, we are protected from copyright claims made against the websites we host.
Your MLS board, as a data aggregator, is also an Internet Service Provider. In similar fashion, the DMCA can also offer them protection for listing data submitted by its various members.
If your website has integrated IDX data, then you are also considered an Internet Service Provider and the DMCA can protect you from copyright infringement claims against the third-party data (the IDX listings) that your website displays.
Website owners that have IDX data on their website need to register as an Internet Service Provider with the U.S. Copyright Office by December 31, 2017 (and keep current every 3 years).
You should register your website service provider (iHOUSEweb) as your Copyright Agent. Do you want to be bothered with nasty emails and phone calls from lawyers trying to sue you? Let us take care of it for you. We already have access to edit your website as needed and a whole Support Team to handle it.
Stephen serves as both Graphics Manager and Product Manager at iHOUSEweb. He graduated from Cal Poly with a BS in Applied Art & Design and has been working as a Web Designer and Developer since 1998. He relentlessly pushes himself and the rest of the team to learn, grow, and innovate.