Whither the Future of Internet Streaming and Time-Shifting? Revisiting the Rights of Reproduction and Communication to the Public in Copyright Law after Aereo

International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Vol. 23(1), pp.53-88, 2015

Singapore Management University School of Law Research Paper No. 54/2015

Posted: 9 Jul 2015  

Cheng Lim Saw

Singapore Management University - School of Law

Warren Chik

Singapore Management University - School of Law

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

New forms of communication technology often pose challenges to the copyright regime and have necessitated the rewriting of the scope of the exclusive rights and exceptions by the legislature, and, in some cases, by the courts in common law countries (as well as the Court of Justice of the European Union). These issues have arisen in different categories of digital technology, albeit with the same objective of streamlining and simplifying the delivery of copyright works to consumers. These categories include file storage and transfer operations offered by Peer-to-Peer technology, the space- and time-shifting functions of the early video and audio recording products, user-generated and industry content deliverable via new media streaming platforms, the ‘live’ streaming and time-shifting services offered by remote and wireless digital recording systems, file storage and sharing digital lockers and cloud technology. This article will examine the legality of Internet streaming and time-shifting technologies under copyright law, specifically in relation to the rights of ‘reproduction’ and ‘communication to the public’, through a comparative analysis of the jurisprudence in leading jurisdictions in recent times. Although the decisions are not always consistent, they do provide some helpful guidance in our assessment of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the various arguments made on both sides of the divide as well as of the prevailing judicial sentiment towards new technologies. In light of the continuing legal uncertainty faced by such technologies, the authors also offer suggestions as regards legislative amendments and alternative business models to ensure their continued existence in this harsh and highly competitive digital environment.

Keywords: Copyright law, Reproduction right, Communication to the public right, Public performance right (US),Internet streaming and time-shifting, New technologies, Copyright exceptions or exemptions, Alternative business models

Suggested Citation

Saw, Cheng Lim and Chik, Warren, Whither the Future of Internet Streaming and Time-Shifting? Revisiting the Rights of Reproduction and Communication to the Public in Copyright Law after Aereo (2015). International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Vol. 23(1), pp.53-88, 2015; Singapore Management University School of Law Research Paper No. 54/2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2628046

Cheng Lim Saw (Contact Author)

Singapore Management University - School of Law ( email )

60 Stamford Road, Level 4
Singapore 178900
Singapore

Warren Bartholomew Kam Wai Chik

Singapore Management University - School of Law ( email )

55 Armenian Street
Singapore, 179943
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://www.business.smu.edu.sg/law

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