New US Digital Copyright Decison

In Perfect 10 Inc. v. CCBILL LLC, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal issued an important new decision considering the (US) Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The case involved allegations of copyright infringement by Perfect 10. While the case considered a complex range of issues, there are a few practical points to highlight: the Court was clear that that ISPs who rely on the DMCA safe harbor must maintain records on which subscribers are allegedly “repeat infringers” under the DMCA, but ISPs do not need to go so far as to “actively police” their users for evidence of infringement. Where ISPs receive “direct financial benefit” from infringing conduct, they cannot take advantage of the safe harbor provisions.

In considering the notice-and-take-down regime, the Court stipulated that copyright holders must “substantially comply” with all requirements under the DMCA in order for their notices to trigger the take-down procedures. ISPs can ignore notices which fall short of substantial compliance.

Canadian copyright holders who are considering action against copyright violations taking place through US-based ISPs should seek advice on ensuring their DMCA notices comply with the requirements.

A few more DMCA cases are making their way up to the appeal level and decisions are expected soon.

Calgary – 9:20 MST


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  1. […] In Perfect 10, Inc. v., Inc. (9th Cir. May 16, 2007), the Court of Appeal decided that Google’s display of thumbnail images in search results should be considered “fair use” and therefore did not constitute copyright infringement.  While this decision is generally considered good for search engines, the court also left open the question of contributory infringement, and when search engines can take advantage of the defences available under the DMCA . […]

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