Blog And Forum Operators – DMCA “Safe Harbor” Not Bullet Proof

A U.S. second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling about April 5, 2012 inside favor of Viacom inside its copyright infringement litigation against YouTube ought to be a fair caution to online service services which offer blogs or forums about their sites – the DMCA “safe harbor” is not bullet proof.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) “safe harbor” shields online service services from copyright infringement claims based about infringing posts about blogs plus forums by consumers. Before the Second Circuit’s ruling, the DMCA “safe harbor” was viewed because almost bullet proof. Not thus, anymore.

The DMCA “Safe Harbor”

Prior to the DMCA’s enactment inside 1998, online service services were liable for copyright infringement when visitors to their sites posted infringing contents, like about a website or forum. Service services were liable for copyright infringement whether or not they were not aware of the infringing postings due to the strict liability principles of the U.S. Copyright Act.

DMCA delivers a so-called “safe harbor” from copyright infringement liability, offered which certain specifications are happy, including posting a see found on the website, registering with all the Copyright Office, plus taking down allegedly infringing information on receipt of see within the copyright owner.

The District Court Ruling

Viacom sued YouTube alleging which YouTube infringed their copyrights by knowingly showing Viacom’s content found on the YouTube url. The content was posted by YouTube’s consumers, not by YouTube itself. YouTube defended based about its reliance found on the DMCA “safe harbor.”

The District Court ruled inside favor of YouTube inside a motion for summary judgment, with all the impact which YouTube was protected from infringement liability by the DMCA. The District Court found which because YouTube had insufficient knowledge of the infringing contents posted about its website, the DMCA “safe harbor” protected YouTube from liability.

The second Circuit Ruling

The second Circuit found which the District Court correctly did direction properly found on the problem of the requirement of knowledge or awareness of infringing activity, meaning which when YouTube did the fact is have actual knowledge or awareness of infringing activity plus then didn’t eliminate the infringing contents, YouTube will be disqualified within the protections of the “safe harbor.” However, the second Circuit pointed out which whether YouTube really had the needed knowledge or awareness became a query of truth which ought to be determined with a jury, plus consequently summary judgment was premature.

The second Circuit noted which there was clearly evidence which YouTube might have had actual knowledge or awareness of infringing activity. Internal YouTube emails indicated which videos of Bud Light commercials plus CNN movie clips were believed by YouTube administration to be “blatantly illegal,” yet they were left found on the YouTube site for awhile inside purchase to gain publicity for YouTube. Based about this plus synonymous evidence of YouTube’s actual knowledge or awareness of infringing activity, the second Circuit held a jury might discover that YouTube was disqualified within the protections of the DMCA “safe harbor.”

As a outcome, the YouTube case was remanded back to the District Court to determine when there was clearly enough evidence for a jury “to conclude which YouTube had the appropriate plus ability to control the infringing activity plus received a financial benefit straight attributable to this activity.”


This ruling by the second Circuit sends a sturdy content to online service services which supply blogs or forums about their sites which the DMCA “safe harbor” is not bullet proof. Then, actual knowledge of infringing activity will disqualify website plus forum providers within the protections of the DMCA “safe harbor.”

The significant take-away from this choice is the fact that it’s important for website plus forum providers to eliminate any infringing content instantly following understanding of its posting about their sites. And instantly signifies only which – instantly, not a couple of weeks later.

This post is offered for educational plus useful reasons just. This info refuses to constitute legal guidance, plus ought not to be construed as a result.

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Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

Blog And Forum Operators – DMCA “Safe Harbor” Not Bullet Proof

SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

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