Service providers’ liability for copyright infringement

By Daksh Kumar, LexOrbis
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The internet has been the most omnipresent form of media for two decades and along with all its benefits and popularity the legal ramifications have increased manifold. These include copyright infringement, which has been rampant for many years.

Daksh Kumar
Daksh Kumar

Intellectual property rights holders sue intermediaries because intermediaries serve as the informational and access gateways for infringing activities and it is more cost effective to seek redress from them than from individual users such as uploaders, downloaders, seeders and linkers. Also, intermediaries are targeted by rights holders for not preventing or helping stem the deluge of infringing activities facilitated through the intermediaries’ platforms, technology and services.

In response to these claims, policies are being reformed and laws undergoing constant amendments. Courts are formulating new rules to find intermediaries indirectly liable for the infringing conduct of their users. Judicial solutions in civil and common law jurisdictions include recognizing claims in vicarious and contributory liability, authorizing and inducing infringement, joint liability under tort law, aiding, abetting and negligence.

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Daksh Kumar is a senior associate at LexOrbis.

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