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.
In today's highly digitized world, copyright infringement actions, among others, are often brought against alleged infringers using information culled from Internet service provider addresses. While fair use defenses may exist against such suits, particularly when one is doing a music mash up, a preliminary question is whether the initial source evidence is accurate. Read more about Fair use in the digital house of mirrors . . .
The US Supreme Court issued opinions in two important First Amendment cases this week, one of which obviously had to do with intellectual property law (Matal v. Tam) and one of which didn’t (Packingham v. North Carolina). There is, however, an implicit IP angle in Packingham that’s worth exploring, and it relates to online copyright enforcement. Read more about What Packingham v. North Carolina Should Mean for the DMCA
The Pirate Bay (TPB), that perennial nemesis of copyright holders, is on the ropes again following the CJEU's decision this week in BREIN v. Ziggo. BREIN, the Dutch entertainment industry trade group, sued two ISPs—Ziggo and XS4ALL—seeking a court order to compel them to block the domain names and IP addresses of the legendary torrent sharing site. The Supreme Court of the Netherlands referred two questions to the CJEU: (1) whether TPB’s operation of a searchable index of torrent files violates copyright holders’ right of communication to the public under Article 3(1) of the EU InfoSoc Directive; and (2), in the event that it does, whether the requested injunctions are appropriate against intermediaries under Article 8(3) of the InfoSoc Directive and Article 11 of the IPR Enforcement Directive. This post will focus on the first question, concerning TPB’s liability for unauthorized “communication to the public.” Read more about BREIN v. Ziggo: The Pirate Bay Dies Again