Copyright Infringment Lawyer, Internet Defamation, and Internet Privacy: DMCA Does Not Provide Safe Harbor from Copyright Infringement in All Cases

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April 06, 2012


Copyright infringement cases are always challenging even for an experienced copyright infringement attorney. The Digital millennium copyright act is a relatively new Internet law with relatively few court cases interpreting the DMCA. Every client should understand that there is always risk when you step into court. A judge can actually change the law or misinterpret the law taking what appears to be a solid copyright infringement case and turning into something different. You should work closely with your copyright law attorney to understand the potential risks and rewards of any infringement threat letter or lawsuit.

Key quotes from case.


Circuit Judge
: This appeal requires us to clarify the contours of the “safe harbor” provision of the DigitalMillennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that limits the liability of online service providers for copyright infringement that occurs “by reason of the storage at the direction of a user of material that resides on a system or network controlled or operated by or for the service provider.” 17 U.S.C. § 512(c).

District Court held that the defendants were entitled to DMCA safe harbor protection primarily because they had insufficient notice of the particular infringements in suit.
Viacom Int’l, Inc. v. YouTube, Inc.
, 718 F. Supp. 2d 514, 529(S.D.N.Y. 2010)

Weconclude that the District Court correctly held that the § 512(c) safe harbor requires knowledge or awareness of specific infringing activity, but we vacate the order granting summary judgment because a reasonable jury could find that YouTube had actual knowledge or awareness of specific infringing activity on its website.

"We further hold that the District Court erredby interpreting the “right and ability to control” infringing activity to require “item-specific”knowledge."

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