By Amanda Harmon Cooley

As technology evolves, society is confronted by a broad spectrum of new problematic conduct with which legislatures and courts often struggle to keep pace. Internet activity has presented novel legal dilemmas, especially when such activity is compared to traditional conceptions of civil and criminal law. In many situations, there is little, if any, precedent for addressing harm that has been facilitated or magnified by dramatic advances in online technology. As a result, the elemental constructs, confines, and remedies of cyberlaw are still in a state of dynamic expansion.

A growing area of development in this terrain of law involves statutory safe harbor and Good Samaritan provisions that have been interpreted to limit the liability of Internet and online service providers for certain tortious or infringing conduct of their service users. Prominent examples of federal legislation with these types of statutory provisions include the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the Communications Decency Act (CDA). In many instances, federal courts have construed these statutory provisions of the DMCA and the CDA broadly, granting service providers protection from liability for a variety of copyright infringement claims and state law claims.

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Recommended Citation
Amanda Harmon Cooley, A Contractual Deterrence Strategy for User-Generated Copyright Infringement and Subsequent Service Provider Litigation, 64 SMU L. Rev. 691 (2011)