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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Default Providing Links to Illegal MP3 Files

    I run a forum which is intended as a general discussions forum. One of the members has posted some links to illegal copyrighted mp3 files. The files in question are not hosted by me. Would I be liable for this members actions, or would it be the person making the posts and hosting the files who is liable?

    Thankyou for your help,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Default Links to Pirate Sites

    One of the portions of the Communications Decency Act that was not struck down as unconstitutional provides broad immunities for webmasters who host public forums:
    Quote Quoting CDA, Section 230(c)(1)
    (1) Treatment of publisher or speaker

    No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.
    That gives webmasters a rather broad immunity from liability for content posted by others. See, e.g., Zeran v AOL.

    However, don't take a "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" approach toward illegal content posted on your site - the DMCA creates something of an expectation that a webmaster will remove from websites materials that appear to violate the intellectual property rights of others. If you receive a DMCA notice from the owner of the content, you should take appropriate steps. And you may wish to create a forum rule against posting links to such content.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    At a WIPO seminar in April 2005 on Copyright and Internet Intermediaries, Dr Charlotte Waelde and Ms. Lilian Edwards from the University of Edinburgh gave the Keynote presentation on the Copyright liability of Internet intermediaries. I'm not sure if the original poster Chris1985 is still interested in learning a little more depth behind the subject of ISP liability, but if so have a look here for a copy of the keynote:

    Hope that is of interest.

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