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Class 10




To what extent should intermediaries such as ISPs, bulletin boards, and file-sharing services be held liable for copyright infringement?

A.  General Secondary Liability


  1. Religious Tech. Ctr. v. Netcom On-Line Commun. Serv., 907 F. Supp. 1361 (N.D. Cal. 1995)

  2. Intellectual Reserve, Inc. v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry, Inc., 75 F. Supp. 2d 1290 (D.Utah 1999)

  3. Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1997, 17 U.S.C. sec. 512(c) (safe harbor provisions)


  1. Sega Enterp. v. Maphia, 857 F. Supp. 679 (N.D. Cal. 1994)

  2. Playboy Enterp. v. Frena, 839 F. Supp. 1552 (M.D. Fla. 1993)

  3. Janelle Brown, Copyright -- Or Wrong?, (July 22, 1999)

  4. Alfred Yen, Internet Service Provider Liability for Subscriber Copyright Infringement, 88 Geo. L.J. 1833 (2000)

B.  Case Study - Music


  1. A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 239 F.3d 1004 (9th Cir. 2001), aff'g in part, A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 114 F. Supp. 2d 896 (N.D.Cal. 2000)

  2. Brad King, File Trading Sites in Crosshairs, (Oct. 3, 2001); Tom Spring, Napster Fans Find Lively Alternative, (July 16, 2001)

  3. William Fisher, Digital Music: Problems and Possibilities

  4. Courtney Love, Courtney Love Does the Math, (June 14, 2000)

  5. The Onion, Kid Rock Starves to Death: MP3 Piracy Blamed


  1. Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios, 464 U.S. 417 (1984)

  2. Audio Home Recording Act of 1992, 17 U.S.C. secs. 1001 et seq.

  3. Recording Indus. Assoc. of Am. v. Diamond Multimedia Sys., 180 F. 3d 1072 (9th Cir. 1999)

  4. Charles Mann, The Heavenly Jukebox, The Atlantic Monthly (Sep. 2000)

  5. Sites
    2. Grokster; MusicCity; Kazaa
    3. Secure Digital Music Initiative
    5. Recording Industry Association of America
    6. Artists Against Piracy


As noted in the readings above, the record labels have now filed suit against "second-generation" peer to peer file-sharing services such as Grokster. Half of you (with last names from A-K) represent the record labels; half of you (with last names from L-Z) represent the peer-to-peer services. Assume that you are preparing for a preliminary injunction motion. Draft a preliminary outline of the argument you will make in your brief on the question of copyright liability. Use only the cases and materials already provided above (do not do any additional research). If you would like more information on the technology underlying Grokster etc., check out the FastTrack site and look under "Products" for their description of the technology.

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Updated: April 16, 2002
Maintained: Joseph P. Liu
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