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.
Who is an Internet Service Provider?
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.
The most relevant points
- You have to register as an Internet Service Provider with the U.S. Copyright Office by December 31, 2017 (and keep current every 3 years)
- You have to choose a Copyright Agent to handle any claims that come in – that’s us, your website hosting provider.
- You have to post a DMCA notice on your website – we’ve got you covered there too. We’ve already added it to all new customer websites and are in process of adding it to all existing customer websites by the end of the year.
- You have to jump through the right hoops and follow the right procedures – again since we’re the Copyright Agent, we’re taking care of it for you.
Who needs to register?
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).
Who is the Copyright Agent?
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.
What should you do if you are contacted by someone with a copyright claim?
- Do NOT reply to them or engage them in any way.
- Do NOT accept responsibility.
- Contact us immediately and we’ll take care of it.
- Register with the U.S. Copyright Office as a service provider – you must register by December 31, 2017 to be protected!
- For Service Provider use your name and address
- For Designated Agent use your website provider’s information:
Copyright Compliance Department
8950 Cal Center Dr, Bldg 1 Suite 202
Sacramento, CA 95826
Phone: (866) 645-7700 x538
- For Alternate Names list any domain names that you are using for your iHOUSE website(s)