You have just launched your new website. It looks great and you are very proud of it, but you are concerned about potential liability. Here are a few steps you should take to protect yourself:
Liability for Your Own Content
Liability for User-Generated Content (i.e. Blogs with User Comments, Online
- Designated Agent - The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), signed into law in 1998, provides a "safe harbor" to protect website owners from copyright infringement liability of website contributors. Under the DMCA, a website owner can list a Designated Agent with the US Copyright Office. The original content owner can find the Designated Agent on the US Copyright Office website and give formal notice of copyright infringement. The Designated Agent is required to expeditiously remove or disable access to the infringing content. Designating an agent is very inexpensive and requires minimal effort (see https://www.copyright.gov/dmca-directory/); every website that allows users to contribute content should take this step.
- Own and operate the website under a limited liability entity, such as a limited partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. Forming an entity should be one of the first steps you take to limit your personal liability for the actions of your company.
See how Dossey & Jones can help protect your website!