District Court Rejects Plaintiffs’ Narrow Construction of the Term “User” in the DMCA’s Safe Harbor § 512


The Internet is inundated with user-uploaded text, pictures, music, and videos, many of which are subject to copyright protection. This material appears to be available—gratis—at the click of a mouse on various media hosting websites owned and managed by online service providers (“OSPs”), e.g., YouTube. This online divertissement may be a violation of copyright law when the copyright owners do not grant permission to display their material. Each instance of infringing material may also be a breach of contract because the OSPs’ terms of use invariably forbid users from uploading copyrighted material absent permission from the rightful owners.

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