The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.
Copyright and Fair Use
A healthy copyright system must balance the need to provide strong economic incentives through exclusive rights with the need to protect important public interests like free speech and expression. Fair use is foundational to that balance. It's role is to prevent copyright from stifling the creativity it is supposed to foster, and from imposing other burdens that would inhibit rather than promote the creation and spread of knowledge and learning.
The Fair Use Project (FUP) was founded in 2006 to provide legal support to a range of projects designed to clarify, and extend, the boundaries of fair use in order to enhance creative freedom and protect important public rights. It is the only organization in the country dedicated specifically to providing free and comprehensive legal representation to authors, filmmakers, artists, musicians and other content creators who face unmerited copyright claims, or other improper restrictions on their expressive interests. The FUP has litigated important cases across the country, and in the Supreme Court of the United States, and worked with scores of filmmakers and other content creators to secure the unimpeded release of their work.
Since the enactment of the first safe harbours and liability exemptions for online intermediaries, market conditions have radically changed. Originally, intermediary liability exemptions were introduced to promote an emerging Internet market. Do safe harbours for online intermediaries still serve innovation? Should they be limited or expanded? These critical questions—often tainted by protectionist concerns—define the present intermediary liability conundrum.
This article discusses the proposed introduction in EU law of an obligation for hosting providers to conclude licencing agreements with copyright holders and ensure their functioning by taking effective technological measures—such as content id technologies—to prevent copyright infringement on online platforms.
In imposing a strict liability regime for alleged copyright infringement occurring on YouTube, Justice Salomão of the Brazilian Superior Tribunal de Justiça stated that “if Google created an ‘untameable monster,’ it should be the only one charged with any disastrous consequences generated by the lack of control of the users of its websites.” In order to tame the monster, the Brazilian Superior Court had to impose monitoring obligations on YouTube. This was not an isolated case.
Read more about Court Orders Prolific Patent Troll Shipping & Transit LLC To Pay Defendant’s Legal BillShipping & Transit LLC, formerly known as Arrivalstar, is one of the most prolific patent trolls ever. It has filed more than 500 lawsuits alleging patent infringement. Despite having filed so many cases, it has never had a court rule on the validity of its patents. In recent years, Shipping & Transit’s usual practice is to dismiss its claims as soon as a defendant spends resources to fight back. A district court in California issued an order (PDF) this week ordering Shipping & Transit to pay a defendant's attorney's fees.