Third-Party Copyright Liability of Online Service Providers in the United Kingdom & United States of America.
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The music and film content providing industry asserts that unauthorised widespread Online Service Provider (OSP) enabled use of their works has played a large part in the factually evident decline in unit sales of the industry’s essential products such as CDs and DVDs, and has thus also allegedly diminished revenue and profits. In this regard, content providing industry legal recourse against OSPs takes two forms. The first is to claim primary copyright infringement, and the second to establish third-party copyright liability for the infringing acts of an OSP’s users. The choice is dictated by the specific facts in individual cases. The latter important and complex case law based category, which applies to a spectrum of OSP connections to infringements, some more direct than others, is specifically treated in this thesis. This thesis examines the, it is argued, inadequate case law based operation of UK third-party copyright liability. By firstly comprehensively studying UK copyright law as it pertains to OSPs, including primary liability as well as exceptions and limitations, UK third-party copyright liability is suitably extrinsically defined. Its intrinsic operation is then analysed. Severe deficiencies having been found and explained in this regard, a basis for reform is sought by conducting a similar examination of US third-party copyright liability, said law being more developed. Thus, a mirrored approach to the preceding UK analysis is taken in the analysis of US copyright law; carefully defining third-party copyright liability and ensuring overall systemic compatibility. Having established the need for reform and having provided a second compatible but more developed source, both strands of third-party copyright liability are compared and contrasted and entirely novel changes to the UK concepts are proposed for legislative adoption. The reformulations allow for apposite future risk analysis by market actors, resulting in greater legal certainty for all parties concerned
AuthorsKuppers, Martin Arthur
- Theses