Footnotes (224)



Criminal Copyright Enforcement Against Filesharing Services

Benton C. Martin

Emory University School of Law

Jeremiah Robert Newhall


October 2013

15 North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology 101 (2013)

The high-profile prosecution of the popular online storage website Megaupload for criminal copyright infringement is the latest in a series of recent criminal prosecutions of online filesharing services. This Article addresses what pushes a legitimate online file-storing business over the edge to criminal enterprise, and how criminal copyright enforcement differs from civil enforcement. The Article first explains the history of criminal copyright enforcement in the United States. It then addresses why “secondary” theories of infringement apply in the criminal, as well as civil, context and why the DMCA “safe harbor” defense is a red herring in criminal copyright actions. It concludes by suggesting guidelines for prosecutorial discretion in enforcing criminal copyright law against filesharing services, proposing that prosecutions be limited to theories of liability already established in civil case law, and that prosecutors target only prominent filesharing-service operators that openly defy civil enforcement actions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 52

Keywords: copyright law, copyright, criminal copyright, criminal law, filesharing services

JEL Classification: K14, O34, O31, K10, K19, K41, K40, K49, K30, K39

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: March 7, 2013 ; Last revised: February 11, 2014

Suggested Citation

Martin, Benton C. and Newhall, Jeremiah Robert, Criminal Copyright Enforcement Against Filesharing Services (October 2013). 15 North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology 101 (2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2229376 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2229376

Contact Information

Benton C. Martin (Contact Author)
Emory University School of Law ( email )
1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Jeremiah Robert Newhall
Independent ( email )
No Address Available
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 3,178
Downloads: 246
Download Rank: 97,528
Footnotes:  224
Paper comments
No comments have been made on this paper