A First Amendment Perspective on the Construction of Third Party Copyright Liability
Alfred C. Yen
Boston College - Law School
December 2, 2009
Boston College Law Review, Vol. 50, No. 5, 2009
Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 180
Third-party copyright liability raises specific First Amendment problems that remain relatively unexplored. Among other things, such liability separates the danger of liability from the benefits of speaking, making key actors prone to careless censorship of speech. This Article applies the First Amendment to third-party copyright liability by drawing lessons from the famous cases of New York Times Co. v. Sullivan and Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. It concludes that vicarious liability should be sharply curtailed, and that the application of presumed damages is constitutionally problematic in many contributory liability cases.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: copyright infringement, New York Times v. Sullivan, Gertz v. Robert Welch, First Amendment
Date posted: May 28, 2009 ; Last revised: December 3, 2009
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