40 Colum. J.L. & Soc. Probs. 1 (2006-2007)
Secondary Liability for Copyright Infringement: BitTorrent as a Vehicle for Establishing a New Copyright Definition for Staple Articles of Commerce

handle is hein.journals/collsp40 and id is 13 raw text is: Secondary Liability for Copyright
Infringement: BitTorrent as a
Vehicle for Establishing a New
Copyright Definition for Staple
Articles of Commerce
MATTHEW HELTON*
As broadband Internet access has become widespread, more and more
Internet users are using modern peer-to-peer applications to illegally share
copyrighted materials. BitTorrent is one example of a modern peer-to-peer
application that can be used to transfer large amounts of data quickly and
at a low cost. Peer-to-peer file sharing is estimated to cost Hollywood
billions of dollars annually, yet few creators or distributors of these
applications have been held liable under either traditional doctrines of
secondary liability for copyright infringement or the inducement theory
recently adopted by the Supreme Court. Additionally, the staple article of
commerce doctrine articulated by the Supreme Court as a defense against
contributory copyright infringement is inadequate to protect the rights of
copyright holders in a digital world in which peer-to-peer applications
enable individuals to make an unauthorized duplication of copyrighted
work and subsequently to distribute hundreds of thousands of copies of
that work worldwide. This Note proposes that the doctrine be revised to
require an individual or company to employ reasonable methods to
prevent copyright infringement in order to avail itself of this defense and
be protected from lawsuits for contributing to large-scale copyright
infringement.

* Writing & Research Editor, COLUM. J.L. & SOC. PROBS., 2006-2007. The author thanks
Hillel Parness for his invaluable suggestions.

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