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US Safe Harbour Provision in realtion to Copyright

Written by Rehana Ali on 19 March 2014

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In short, the Safe Harbour provisions are part of The Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act , U.S legislation that creates a Safe Harbor by protecting online service providers such as ISP’s from acts of primary and secondary copyright infringement.

Safe Harbour Provisions

In order to benefit from the 'Safe Harbour' firstly as a perquisite for the protection, a company has to demonstrate that they have adopted and implemented a ‘notice and takedown’ policy in realtion to infringing work and do not interfere with technical measures which are used by copyright owners to identify and protect their work.

They must further satisfy the following:

  1. They did not have actual knowledge or awareness of an infringement.
  2. They do not receive a financial benefit directly attributable to an infringing activity.
  3. That upon notification they act expeditiously to remove any infringing content.

In the YouTube v Viacom case the knowledge requirement was interpreted by Judge Stanton to mean:

“Under section 512, knowledge alone will not disqualify a service provider from the safe harbour protection, what will disqualify them however is if they have the knowledge and awareness of copyright infringement but do not act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material”

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