Secondary Liability for Copyright Infringement in the Web 2.0 Environment: Some Reflections on Viacom v.YouTube

Miquel Peguera


The lawsuit brought by Viacom and other copyright owners against YouTube underscores the uncertainties of the law of secondary liability for third-party copyright infringement. Particularly, it shows the strengths and weaknesses of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, on which most Web 2.0 service providers heavily rely for protection from liability for their users’ infringements. This article explores the relationships between the protection granted by the DMCA safe harbors and the standards of secondary liability developed at common law, with special reference to that of inducement adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Grokster case. 

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