Copyright in Cyberspace


24 Apr 14: EU Court rules private copying exemption applies only to lawfully-sourced copies - with consequence for calculating the private copying levy payable

16 Apr 14: Hollywood movie studios, record labels sue Megaupload for copyright infringement – for paying users to upload popular entertainment content onto Megaupload’s servers (Finnegan)

24 Mar 14: Canadian court orders ISP to identify 2,000 subscribers infringing copyright - allegedly by downloading a copyrighted movie using peer-to-peer networks and the BitTorrent protocol

24 Mar 14: Italy implements administrative take-down of sites selling fake goods

22 Mar 14: Viacom and Google settle YouTube copyright dispute – with terms not disclosed

25 Feb 14: No copyright infringement by linking unless access provided to a ‘new public’, says EU Court

10 Feb 14: Paris Civil Court orders ISPs and search engines to block infringing sites – using its power to order summarily that any person contributing to an infringement remedy it by taking appropriate measures to prevent or stop the infringement (Nomos)

11 Sep 13: Paper finds little success in ‘three-strikes’ IP enforcement programmes – being neither successful nor effective (IP Watch)

2 Aug 13: UK court blocks stream aggregator’s domain - An order requiring ISPs to block the domains of peer-to-peer websites showing pirated material has been issued against a hugely successful stream aggregator of sports content (Mayer Brown)

31 Jul 13: Right to resell digital content proposed for Australia - which would allow consumers to sell no-longer-wanted music, films, software and books that were purchased in digital format

16 Jul 13: US advertisers adopt best practices for online infringement -  by reducing ad revenue to websites engaged in piracy and counterfeiting (IP Watch)

15 Jul 13: France abolishes three-strikes Internet disconnection - The French Government has backtracked on the law which allowed repeat copyright infringers to be disconnected from the Interne

5 Jul 13: $675,000 damages award upheld for illegally downloading 30 songs - The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has upheld a jury’s $675,000 damages award for illegal downloading of 30 songs

5 Jun 13: ‘Fair use’ copyright exception proposed for Australia - The Australian Law Reform Commission has recommended adoption of a broad, flexible exception to copyright infringement for ‘fair use’

3 Jun 13: Can classified websites protect content from scraping? - The Craigslist case provides useful insight into the types of claims that might be made against alleged scrapers if proceedings were issued in Australia (KWM)

26 May 13: Petition fights proposal for Digital Rights Management in Internet core – More than two dozen advocacy group are circulating a petition to prevent the World Wide Web Consortium from accepting a proposal to allow restrictive new copyright measures on the underlying Web used by hundreds of millions of people (IP Watch)

24 May 13: Internet streaming of TV broadcasts: the position in AU, UK and US – an overview (KWM)

10 May 13: Viewing copyright content on the Internet isn’t infringing, says UK Supreme Court - Internet users who merely read or view copyright-protected webpages enjoy a temporary copying exception under European Union and United Kingdom law

2 May 13: Three ‘pirates’ elected to Iceland’s parliament – The Icelandic Pirate Party won 5.1% of the vote in the recent national election, giving it three members in the legislature

4 Apr 13: Torrent site owners found liable for “inducing” copyright infringement - The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court’s finding that the owners of websites providing torrent files are liable for contributory copyright infringement

25 Mar 13: IP addresses alone not sufficient to identify alleged pirates - A California federal court has ruled that an IP address alone is not sufficient to establish identification of an alleged copyright infringer

19 Mar 13: CJEU rules live streaming of TV is communication to public - TVCatchup’s live streaming of UK free-to-view terrestrial television broadcasts infringes authors’ rights to control communication to the public within the meaning of Article 3(1) Information Society Directive

14 Mar 13: Pirate Bay loses appeal to European Court of Human Rights - The Pirate Bay founders, Fredrik Neij and Peter Sunde Kolmisopp, have lost their bid to have the rulings of Swedish courts against their operation of the file-sharing service declared a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights

11 Mar 13: US “Copyright Alert System” set to begin - The Center for Copyright Information has announced that US copyright owners will begin rolling out the Copyright Alert System, under which copyright owners send notices of alleged P2P copyright infringement to ISPs, and the ISPs forward those notices to consumers

11 Mar 13: UK court issues simplified foreign pirate website blocking orders - The UK High Court has made a court order requiring UK ISPs to block access to three hugely popular peer-to-peer file-sharing web sites based outside the UK

18 Feb 13: NZ ‘three strikes’ downloader ordered to pay $600 damages - A New Zealand Rihanna fan has the dubious honour of being one of the first people to have an enforcement action brought against her for breach of copyright under the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011 (NZ)

4 Dec 12: Controversial “six-strikes” Copyright Alert System debut delayed - The Center for Copyright Information has announced that it would push back the start date and will likely begin to roll out its long anticipated “Copyright Alert System” in the early part of 2013 (Baker Hostetler)

22 Nov 12: UK report reveals ‘three strikes’ warnings will have limited effect - A survey commissioned by the UK telecommunications regulator has found that only one-fifth of infringers would be put off further infringement by suspension of their Internet account

14 Nov 12: Greater transparency under new Twitter copyright takedown policy - Under a revision to its copyright notice and takedown policy, when Twitter takes down an alleged infringing tweet it will now automatically post a tweet in the user’s feed stating the material has been withheld in response to a report from a copyright holder

1 Nov 12: Pirate Bay’s move to the cloud is futile, says anti-piracy body - The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has denounced the Pirate Bay’s move to the cloud as useless, saying measures already exist for governments to access cloud data in cross-border criminal investigations (DMH Stallard)

29 Oct 12: Megaupload’s motion to dismiss federal charges denied by US federal court - The foreign corporation behind the alleged piracy website has failed in its bid to have criminal copyright charges dismissed on the grounds that it lacked a US mailing address and therefore could not be properly served service of process (Arent Fox)

8 Oct 12: founder jailed over pirated material - Anton Vickerman, the founder of, has become the first person in Britain to be jailed for running a site containing links to illegally uploaded films and television programmes (Speechly Bircham)

5 Oct 12: Google and Publishers reach settlement on Digital Library Project - Under the terms of the settlement, US publishers can choose to make available or choose to remove their books and journals digitized by Google for its Digital Library Project

28 Sep 12: Will New Zealand pirates really walk the plank? - The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand has applied for three Internet users to be brought before the Copyright Tribunal and fined for their alleged copyright infringement (Baldwins)

26 Sep 12: Bit Brother is watching you - According to recent research, 1,139 IP addresses are likely to be monitoring users of Bit Torrent around the world

26 Sep 12: Live streaming of TV not covered by US statutory retransmission license - The US Second Circuit has held that a service streaming copyrighted television programming live and over the Internet does not constitute a “cable system”, and so is not covered by the US Copyright Act § 111 statutory license for retransmission (Kilpatrick Townsend)

24 Sep 12: Another six-figure damages award for illegal music downloading – The Eighth Circuit has issued a unanimous decision reinstating a $220,000.00 jury verdict for illegally downloading and distributing music through Kazaa, a peer-to-peer file sharing application (Bake & Hostetler)

12 Sep 12: UK film studios take the law into their own hands - UK movie studios are taking justice into their own hands by initiating criminal proceedings against copyright pirates (King & Wood Mallesons)

10 Sep 12: Linking to unauthorised videos is not contributory infringement - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has ruled that myVidster’s linking to illegally uploaded videos is not an act of contributory copyright infringement.

10 Sep 12: High Court rejects Optus’ appeal in TV Now case - The High Court of Australia has refused Optus’ application for special leave to appeal the Full Court of the Federal Court’s decision in National Rugby League Investments Pty Limited v Singtel Optus Pty Ltd.

4 Sep 12: IP address alone not sufficient to identify infringing downloader - A U.S. district court judge has ruled that an IP address is not enough to determine the identity of an infringing downloader of copyright material, throwing a wrench in the copyright infringement claims brought by pornographic film producers in four related mass BitTorrent lawsuits.

4 Sep 12: Student ordered to pay $675,000 for downloading 30 songs – In Sony BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the jury found a graduate student liable for infringing the copyrights in the 30 songs, and awarded statutory damages of $22, 500 for each song.

3 Aug 12: ‘Inline link’ is an authorised communication for copyright purposes - The Federal Court of Canada has ruled that providing an ‘inline link’ to a copyright work on the copyright owner’s website is not an infringement of copyright.

2 Aug 12: Megaupload cites lack of jurisdiction in attempt to dismiss US charges – Megaupload has filed a motion to dismiss the US government’s charges of mass copyright infringement, arguing that a foreign corporation that lacks a US office is not subject to jurisdiction within the United States

27 Jun 12: Google threatens to sue YouTube MP3 conversion sites - Google is threatening action against one of the web’s largest YouTube conversion sites, which extracts MP3 audio from YouTube videos and makes it available for users to download

27 Jun 12: Revised ‘three strikes’ draft code issued by UK regulator - Ofcom has revised its proposed code on ISP’s responsibility for online copyright infringements of their customers

25 Jun 12: Ninth Circuit in Veoh to consider the impact of Viacom – The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court is reconsidering its Veoh decision on the DMCA copyright infringement safe harbor standards, in light of the Second Circuit’s decision in Viacom v. YouTube

25 Jun 12: Megaupload challenges U.S. indictment – is challenging whether the United States had the right to bring the action waged against Megaupload and its executives this past January

8 Jun 12: French court backs Google in YouTube piracy case - The Tribunal de Grande Instance has ruled that the effort made by Google to remove copyrighted content uploaded by its YouTube users was sufficient to avoid liability for copyright infringement

25 May 12: Google publishes report on copyright infringement allegations - Google has released a detailed report which contains various data on content removal requests submitted by copyright holders from July 2011 to mid May 2012

14 May 12: Rest in peace, Perfect10 v. Google: epic copyright struggle finally dismissed - Last month, after eleven years, three Ninth Circuit opinions and 1,212 docket entries in the trial court, Perfect10, Inc. stipulated to the dismissal of its copyright infringement claims against Google (Foley Hoag)

12 May 12: Optus to appeal ‘TV Now’ copyright infringement finding - Optus has announced that it will seek leave from the High Court of Australia to appeal the recent Full Court of the Federal Court decision that its cloud-based ‘TV Now’ service infringes copyright

8 May 12: Seventh Circuit case explores copyright liability for embedding infringing videos - Copyright litigation between two relatively minor parties before the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has seen amici briefs from the likes of the Motion Picture Association of America, Google, and Facebook (Arent Fox)

27 Apr 12: UK ‘three-strikes’ copyright piracy law put on hold - The introduction of the UK’s controversial graduate response – ‘three-strikes and you’re disconnected’ – process for dealing with online copyright infringement has been delayed for two years.

27 Apr 12: Optus cloud-based TV recording service found infringing on appeal - The Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has ruled that the Optus ‘TV Now’ cloud-based recording service infringes copyright.

20 Apr 12: Australian ISP not liable for customers’ BitTorrent copyright infringements - The Australian High Court has ruled in favour of an ISP which failed to terminate access to the Internet for those of its customers engaged in copyright infringement using the BitTorrent protocol

11 Apr 12: Expanding Australia’s copyright safe harbour scheme: the industry response - Internet intermediaries support reforming the copyright infringement safe harbour scheme, while rights-holders want the ALRC to consider the issue (Clayton Utz)

11 Apr 12: Second Circuit reverses dismissal of Viacom’s $1 billion copyright case against Google - In Viacom International Inc.’s $1 billion copyright suit against Google Inc., and its YouTube platform, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found that a reasonable jury could conclude that YouTube had actual knowledge or awareness of specific infringing activity on its website

20 Mar 12: Six Bills reforming Internet copyright proposed through social media - US public interest group Public Knowledge has launched an initiative urging social media users to lobby for the adoption of reforms to copyright on the Internet

8 Mar 12: Berlin court rules Facebook violates user rights – The District Court of Berlin has ruled that Facebook’s general terms and conditions and its “friendfinder” feature violated user rights

7 Mar 12: Pinterest’s popularity soars, but (p)interesting copyright questions abound - Pinterest, the latest social networking site on the block, raises copyright challenges (Foley Hoag)

6 Mar 12: Record companies win first round v The Pirate Bay in the UK but pirates remain at large – The UK High Court finds that users of The Pirate Bay website are liable for copyright infringement for communicating copyrighted sound recordings to the public and that the operators of The Pirate Bay authorise infringements of copyright by its users and are jointly liable for these copyright infringements

2 Feb 12: Australian court finds Optus cloud-based TV recording service non-infringing - The Federal Court of Australia has ruled that Optus does not infringe copyright in the TV programs recorded by users of its ’TV Now’ cloud-based recording service

22 Jan 12: US Anti-piracy Bills postponed, copyright infringers charged and jailed - The US Department of Justice has trumpeted the bringing of charges against the principals of one online copyright infringement site, and the jailing of the founder of another, at the same time as voting on the controversial US Anti-piracy legislation was postponed

21 Jan 12: US Senate Postpones PIPA Vote; EU Commissioner Joined Opposition - The new age of lobbying through online public engagement showed its effectiveness today as the Senate announced the postponement of next week’s vote on controversial anti-piracy legislation that led to unprecedented protests on the internet (by IP Watch)

20 Jan 12: Occupy IP: New Economy Businesses Clash With OldIt may be too much, too late for content providers finally trying to tame the internet, and a fresh approach is needed, writes Bruce Berman (by IP Watch)

20 Jan 12: SOPA – What’s it all about? – Stumped by SOPA? Perplexed by PIPA? In light of Wikipedia’s blackout this week, Managing IP provides a simple guide to legislation pending in the US Congress and the debates surrounding it (by Managing IP)

14 Dec 11: Australian ISPs propose “Notice and Discovery” scheme for infringing customers - Five major Australian Internet Service Providers have released details of a proposed scheme for assisting copyright owners to enforce their rights against customers downloading infringing material

29 Nov 11: ECJ rules out injunctions against ISPs that require filtering to prevent illegal downloads –  the Court of Justice of the European Union has held that a national court cannot impose an injunction requiring an ISP to install a wide ranging filtering system in order to tackle illegal downloading (by Hogan Lovells)

16 Nov 11: Barrage Of Doubts Voiced On US Internet Piracy Bill - International critics say that the draft US Stop Online Piracy Act would put the United States on the same ground as China with regards to internet filtering, undermining the US argument for internet freedom (by IP Watch)

8 Nov 11: Vanderbilt-Melbourne Global Debate on the future of record labels - On November 15, in Nashville, TN, a distinguished panel of business and academic experts debated the role of record labels in the digital age.

2 Nov 11: UK Judge: ISP Must Block File-Sharing Site In 14 Days, Foot Bill - A UK judge has ordered the country’s biggest internet service provider to block customers from accessing a website where members share unauthorized copies of music and movies (by paidContent: UK)

24 Oct 2011: Consultation Paper on Revising the Scope of the Australian Copyright Safe Harbour Scheme – The Australian government has released for consultation its proposal to expand the type of entities to which the copyright safe harbour provisions apply (by A-G’s Dept)

16 Sep 2011: Comparative analysis of the national approaches to the liability of Internet intermediaries (WIPO / Seng) - The World Intellectual Property Organization has published a comparative survey reviewing the national laws of copyright indirect liability and safe harbor defenses in fifteen countries, from both the civil and common law jurisdictions.

13 Sep 2011: EU extends copyright protection for record producers and performers from 50 to 70 years – The European Union has extended copyright protection for performers and record producers from 50 to 70 years (by IP Watch)

12 Sep 2011: IFPI Digital Music Report 2011 (by IFPI)

7 Sep 2011: Is the price of the New Zealand Internet piracy law a treasure that no-one can afford?

30 Aug 2011: Optus launches pre-emptive strike on TV cloud storage

25 Aug 2011: A-G to host roundtable on online copyright infringement

12 Aug 2011: iiNet case off to the High Court

9 Aug 2011: The final details and technical requirements for the implementation of New Zealand’s Internet copyright infringement regime (Lexology), which comes into force on 1 September 2011, have now been completed and are set out in the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Regulations 2011 gazetted last week

29 July 2011: Landmark UK decision on ISP liability (by ACC)

9 June 2011: The Ministry of Economic Development has released a discussion document on proposed regulations under the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act (which comes into force on 1 September this year)

20 May 2011: The New Zealand parliament passed the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill on 14 April, putting a three-tiered system in place for deterring illegal file sharing online

16 May 2011: LimeWire, Record Labels Settle Suit (by WSJ)

12 May 2011: Google has been told it infringes publishers’ copyright by reproducing their headlines, in a decision by the Belgian Court of Appeal (by Managing IP)

12 May 2011: Biggest BitTorrent Downloading Case in U.S. History Targets 23,000 Defendants (Wired)

4 May 2011: A prominent intellectual property law firm has moved to establish an extrajudicial scheme to resolve piracy disputes between internet firms and copyright holders (by Australian IT)

4 May 2011: How Three Strikes is Working (by Managing IP)

26 April 2011: Read Kim Weatherall’s review of the iiNet Full Court decision here (by Fortnightly)

14 April 2011: New Zealand Parliament moves against illegal filesharing (by ACC)

11 Mar 2011: The Internet Industry Association (IIA) has announced its intention to immediately begin developing an industry code of practice for internet intermediaries, following the recent Full Federal Court appeal decision in Roadshow Films which found in favour of ISP iiNet, but left the door open on the question of ISP responsibility (by ACC)