2023CopyrightTechnology Law

The Secret Life of Platform Intellectual Property Adjudication

Shih-wei Chao An emerging trend in intellectual property law is e-commerce platforms adjudicating infringement disputes. When platforms receive right holder complaints and decide whether to remove product listings, suspend the seller, or destroy the infringing inventory—intentional or not—they are acting as “courts,” applying unique “laws” and granting platform-style “remedies.” To provide a peek into this nascent realm of intellectual property alternative dispute resolution, this article first compiles what is known about platforms’ adjudication mechanisms, from complaint to decision, from enforcement to “appeals,” covering both platforms’ basic complaint systems and Amazon’s UPNEP/APEX program. Normatively, however, there are concerns that platforms are...

The Internet of Things: How Digital Copyright Rules Govern Our Physical World

Jessica Barbaria Intellectual property law governs the digital world. Thus, copyright law controls how digital content, such as software, is shared and accessed. Digital content is generally licensed, permitting users to save and use a copy of software but not to own it outright. Because the internet enables monitoring of these licenses, copyright holders can ensure users do not infringe on copyright or violate their license agreements in other ways. Software also enables advanced capabilities in physical products. For example, car manufactures can remotely modify settings to benefit drivers after they buy their cars. That said, software updates come with...

No Safe Harbor: YouTube’s Content Id and Fair Use

Robert Andrea YouTube is arguably the world’s foremost platform for user-generated content. When users upload material to YouTube, there is a possibility that the uploaded content is protected by copyright. Under traditional copyright law, YouTube is technically liable for allowing copyrighted material to be disseminated. But the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) insulates YouTube and other internet service providers from liability if the companies take certain steps to filter out copyrighted material. For YouTube, the only feasible way to fulfill its copyright protection obligations is to utilize automated copyright protection software. Nevertheless, YouTube’s software, Content ID, and the copyright policies...

YouTube’s ContentID Copyright Infringement Flagging System: Using Its Corporate-Assuaging Origins in Viacom v. YouTube as a Jumping-Off Point for the Way It’s Been Used and Altered over the Years

Emily Tate The idiosyncrasy of the Internet often invites colorful analogies in its description: high seas and piracy, Wild West and lawless frontier. This is not undeserved; despite great strides over the course of its development, the Internet remains unexamined and unregulated in many ways, and the regulations that do exist are largely self-governed. Copyright law in particular has proven contentious for lawmakers who are forced to balance digital rights management on a massive scale with the rights of end users. Nowhere is this conflict more apparent than in the practices of the video-sharing juggernaut YouTube. Read Full Text Here

Who’s Fault Is It Anyway? The Modern State of 3D Printing Copyright Liability

Marx Calderon When new technology arises, lawmakers struggle to keep up: how do I perform the balancing act of managing risk through regulation without stymying innovation. An ongoing struggle is the 3D printer and its copyright liability. 3D printers take a complicated manufacturing process and puts in our homes instead of a factory. The ease in which a person can create an object at home is an incredible feat, but it comes with consequences. Specifically, owners of copyrighted images are weary of their products being reproduced at home and sold in a secondary market. This article briefly describes the source...

Defenseless in the Zombie Infested Internet: Why Audio-Visual Works Demand Exemption Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Eric Maher In the aftermath of Napster and Pirate Bay’s shameless disregard for copyrights, DRM strategies are necessary to protect the incentives that encourage artists and programmers to create and publicly display their works. Yet the security risks associated with DRM levy a high cost on the public, on whose patronage the content creators depend. By restricting research and investigation into security risks in popular public technologies, U.S. copyright law, particularly under the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), removed necessary safeguards for the public. The large influx of new consumer electronics demands exemption from the anti-circumvention...

Interpreting Chamberlain’s “Reasonable Relation” Between Access and Infringement in the Digital Mill

Zoe Argento The nature of the “reasonable relation” test goes to the heart of the DMCA and its impact on innovation. If the “reasonable relation” between access and infringement is too broad, the DMCA will stifle many ideas which build on protected works, because the public will be prevented from accessing works for the purpose of creating improved versions and interoperable products. Innovation depends in large measure upon building on the works of others. As Sir Isaac Newton famously said, “If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood upon the shoulders of giants.” On the...

Shooting the Messenger: ISP Liability for Contributory Copyright Infringement

David Ludwig Recent trends in judicial enforcement of contributory copyright infringement claims against ISPs and judicial interpretation of the DMCA safe harbor provisions undermine the balance sought by Congress in the DMCA by imposing excessive liability upon ISPs. The danger of this trend is that such enforcement will have a significant chilling effect on ISP investment in the internet, which fosters both the growth of e-commerce and the ability of a larger segment of the population to participate in the internet community– both of which ultimately benefit the holders of intellectual property rights. Shielding ISPs from liability for contributory copyright...