Thoughts on current legal news in media, technology and the arts

Viacom v. YouTube Brings About a Sea of Change in the Safe Harbor

Posted: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 | Posted by Lizbeth Hasse, Esq. | Labels: , , , ,

Over the past decade, websites and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have learned to rely on the takedown procedures of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in order to generally avoid copyright infringement liability imposed by content owners. 

ISPs have been able to shield themselves from all liability form their users posting infringing material by having a proper takedown system in place. But, a recent Second Circuit case undermines that level of confidence in takedown procedures. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals is the first U.S. court to decide that ISPs may still be liable for copyright infringement even after complying with the takedown provisions of the DMCA.  

As a result, the underlying questions remain: should intermediaries be held liable for their users infringing actions? If so, then to what extent?  Where does the law now draw the line? How can a website owner or ISP best protect itself when posting content provided by others?

I write more about this here


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