Filtering the Internet to Prevent Copyright Infringement - Part 2


Should Internet service providers ("ISPs") consider using modern screening technology to monitor for and prevent third-parties from posting copyright infringing material? In general, the law of "safe harbors," providing conditional immunity from liability for copyright infringment, rejects any ISP monitoring or filtering obligation. On the other hand, recent developements in the European Union implicate such an obligation and some U.S. legal experts in the field advocate imposition of gatekeeper responsibility on ISPs, arguing that modern filtering technology makes screening feasible and practicable and, in effect, makes ISPs the least cost avoiders of infringement or other illicit activity.

In this context, this article reviews the law of ISP safe harbors and secondary liability for copyright infringement under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act in the U.S. and pursuant to the E-Commerce Directive in some member nations of the European Union.

My recent article published in the Spring 2011 issue of New Matter updates this article to reflect the recent decision in Viacom v. YouTube, now on appeal to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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