Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association has filed a joint amicus brief today in a copyright case that could have broad liability implications for internet companies if the court were to grant a rehearing. A lower court correctly applied the law and dismissed a case against Giganews, saying that it couldn’t be held liable because it didn’t cause  the infringement or directly benefit financially.

Perfect 10, an adult content company that one federal court branded “a serial copyright litigant,” asked an appeals court to dramatically expand the cases when an online service can be held responsible for infringement by other internet users. The Recording Industry Association of America and Motion Picture Association of America have lined up to support Perfect 10.

The brief by CCIA and its co-filers explains that the regulatory expansion sought by Perfect 10 and its entertainment industry allies would chill investment in online services or connected devices because of the severe risk of liability damages — $150,000 per infringed work.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“The problem with this request to expand copyright liability is that it will do too little to stop online piracy while doing too much damage to internet services and news sites which are following the law. Current law is based on a cost benefit analysis of copyright infringement and how third parties can help remove it — without facing penalties that would dry up investment for tech companies and curb access to legal information and content for internet users. It deeply concerns us that Hollywood is constantly trying to move the legal line by expanding liability for noninfringing innocent parties and undoing the balance in the law that protects thousands of existing online companies as well as the next generation of startups.”

“The lower court applied the law correctly and we are asking the appeals court to say no to these groups seeking to expand and maximize copyright liability — and say yes to innovative companies.”

For media inquiries, please contact Heather Greenfield hgreenfield@ccianet.org

 

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