The Spring 2018 Friel-Scanlan Lecture Time to Reboot: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Version 2.0?

Presented By Professor Donald P. Harris

April 5, 2018
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Duane Morris LLP Moot Court Room
Klein Hall • Temple University Beasley School of Law

One of the more vexing questions in copyright law is whether Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should be liable for the infringing acts of their subscribers. Congress enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in 1998, as a means to both protect copyright owners’ rights in the digital environment and to provide safe harbors to shield ISPs from liability, thus allowing for the growth and development of the then-nascent Internet. Twenty years later, questions arise as to whether the DMCA framework should be revisited. This discussion will set forth the contours of the DMCA safe harbor provisions and explore the arguments for and against maintaining the current system. The discussion will then explore alternatives to the current system, focusing specifically on a revised system that contemplates ISPs shouldering part of the enforcement burden by taking reasonable efforts to prevent infringement.

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