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Monday, January 10, 2011

Chapter 3 summary

There was some confusion as to if I was in group A or B, therefore I summarized chapter 3 in addition to my previous post;

Copyrights on the Internet and Software


Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) – statute that protects the copyrights of electronic media

Section 512(c) – otherwise known as “notice-and-take-down.” Section of the DMCA whereas if an infringement by the copyright holder is noticed, the individual (s) infringing must remove the content from their website. Without going into great detail, the ultimate question for a website owner to use 512 (c) as a defense against infringements lawsuits would be the proof “is there any financial gain by the website owner?”

EULA – end users license agreement – the user agrees to all terms and copyrights by the manufacturer of the software

International Copyright treaties –

• Berne Convention

• World Intellectual Property Organization (WPO)

Legality issues

Links – providing a link on ones webpage to another page – NOT illegal as the link is the just the address

Deep Linking – providing a link to other websites individual pages without showing who the destination content author is – LEGAL ONLY if it is clear as to the owner of the target page (s).

Peer to peer – file sharing among users. Legality depends. A landmark example of this is the company Napster. Enabling peer to peer file sharing is considered by the U.S. Supreme Court as intending that the technology of the company is being used for infringement of the music companies copyright and although did not sell the music, the inducing of the copying is considered as infringing. This case caused Napster to file for bankruptcy, which ultimately sold its name to another company that now sells music per downloaded or viewed content? Two companies in example of utilization of 512 (c) in peer to peer are YouTube and MySpace. (Landy & Mastrobattista, 2008)

Other issues

Free Internet Radio has been an area with much litigation and discussion regarding its legality. The largest online radio company, Pandora ("Pandora Radio," 2011) sought the “safe harbor” section of the DMCA. Their position was that the website did not profit directly from a copyrighted work. Even though Pandora won their legal battle, they changed their format so that their radio “stations,” are created by the user by user chosen genre. Pandora set it up so that the user does not get to choose individual songs. Furthermore, the user can skip songs, but they are limited to how many songs they can skip in an hour, thereby giving the user less choice. Pandora also made a concession to the record companies so as to abide by other countries rules, and as of 2009, if a user listens to more than 40 hours of music in any given month, they have the option of paying .99 cents for the remainder of the month, or $36 annually for a premium service known as Pandora One.(Dantes, 2009)

Landy says that an unknown exists in how far the “safe harbor” rules of the DMCA will go. In the case of Viacom vs. YouTube (owned by Google), they were currently battling in court at the time of printing The IT/ Digital Legal Companion. (Landy & Mastrobattista, 2008) The case was however settled on June 23, 2010. The DMCA is explicit: it shall not be construed to condition “safe harbor” protection on “a service provider monitoring its service or affirmatively seeking facts indicating infringing activity . . . .” (Diaz, 2010) YouTube’s defense was proving that Viacom notified YouTube of over 100,000 videos submitted by YouTube users to “take down” these videos. YouTube had them removed within one day, thereby complying with the “take down” rule.

Copyrights of Software and Computer Code

The major rule of copying software is simple as it is obvious. No software can be copied without the manufacturers consent except for one copy used, by the purchasing owner, for archive purposes.

It is difficult however, to find the copied software “pirates.” This is especially true in third world and other countries that do not have the means to police these pirates. It is estimated that in the year 2000 alone, $12 billion was lost to illegally copied software.(Bhasin, 2002)

A major characteristic of what is NOT considered an infringement are ideas and methods. Copying code is obviously in violation, but a software company that writes code for a program such as a spreadsheet is not in violation of copyright infringement for the concept as no one owns the rights to the idea of a spreadsheet.

Copyrighting technology has become an essentially important monetary issue as well as a huge legal section of the law, both domestically and internationally.


Bhasin, S. (2002). Software Piracy- A challenge to E-world. SANS Institute InfoSec Reading Room.

Dantes, D. (2009). Pandora charges listeners for internet radio. Retrieved from

Diaz, S. (2010). Google prevails in Viacom-YouTube copyright lawsuits; appeals on deck., (Between the lines). Retrieved from

Landy, G. K., & Mastrobattista, A. J. (Eds.). (2008). The IT/ Digital Legal Companion: A comprehensive business guide to software, internet, and IP law Burlington: Syngress Publishing, Inc.

Pandora Radio. (2011). from

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