Pinterest User claims DMCA immunity for its account (and all of its social media accounts)
As I was checking the copyright office to see if Pinterest changed their DMCA Agent to match its DMCA Policy posted online (see post below), I ran across a DMCA registration for a Pinterest account holder. Yes, the account holder (user) filed a DMCA Notice relating to their Pinterest account and boards.
The folks at Veterans United (Mortgage Research Center, LLC) filed a DMCA Agent with the Copyright Office for their Pinterest Accounts AND for their Twitter Accounts AND Facebook Account pages. For Pinterest, they filed for their accounts at:
Apparently, they are concerned that they will be sued for copyright infringement appearing under their social media accounts. This raises a couple of interesting issues.
First, DMCA does not protect someone from their own infringement (known as direct infringement). The DMCA will not protect you against your own posting of infringing material. So, if Veterans United is directly copying and posting material to their social media sites, including Pinterest, DMCA will not protect them as direct infringers.
Second, Veterans United may be trying to protect itself against infringing images posted to its account pages by their followers which can be protected by DMCA (called contributory liability). Although Veterans United may want to claim DMCA protection by registering a DMCA Designated Agent, they don’t actually have DMCA protection. Why? Many reasons. They may not qualify as an “online service provider” under the DMCA. More to the point, they have not posted a DMCA Policy on their social media web pages, nor on Pinterest, nor on their own webpage!
Why would anyone register a Designated Agent with the copyright office but fail in every other way to qualify for immunity under DMCA? If they were truly interested in availing themselves of DMCA, why not completely comply with the statute instead of doing it half-way?
One of my pet peeves is not using the DMCA responsibly. In other words, if you are claiming the benefits of a law that gives you immunity for violating another law, go the full distance to make sure you meet ALL the prerequisites for immunity.
Curiouser and curiouser!