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Re: Major Labels v. Backbones

  • From: Jared Mauch
  • Date: Sat Aug 17 17:07:39 2002

On Sat, Aug 17, 2002 at 03:31:03PM -0400, Jeff Ogden wrote:
> >IANAL, but last I looked -- admittedly a long, long time ago -- ISPs 
> >were not afforded protection as common carriers (18 USC?), no matter 
> >how much they tried to act like them.   Has this changed?
> I agree that ISPs aren't common carriers in the legal sense, but an 
> ISP's liability under U.S. copyright law is limited for "transitory 
> communications".  The following is taken from a December 1998 
> Copyright Office Summary" (page 10, 
> ):


> Limitation for Transitory Communications
> In general terms, section 512(a) limits the liability of service providers 
> in
> circumstances where the provider merely acts as a data conduit, 
> transmitting digital information from one point on a network to 
> another at someone else's request. This limitation covers acts of 
> transmission, routing, or providing connections for the information, 
> as well as the intermediate and transient copies that are made 
> automatically in the operation of a network.
> In order to qualify for this limitation, the service provider's 
> activities must meet the following conditions:
>   --The transmission must be initiated by a person other than the provider.
>   --The transmission, routing, provision of connections, or copying must
>     be carried out by an automatic technical process without selection of
>     material by the service provider.
>   --The service provider must not determine the recipients of the material.

	One could argue (in theory) that a routing-table lookup
may satisfy this.

>   --Any intermediate copies must not ordinarily be accessible to anyone
>     other than anticipated recipients, and must not be retained for longer
>     than reasonably necessary.
>   --The material must be transmitted with no modification to its content.

	Same theory here also, where one decrements ttl, since we are
talking about ip packets here.  

but the packets (as a whole) aren't copyright nor are the routers
looking at the data part in most cases except possibly
for load-sharing purposes..

	Either way, this is an interesting test case and I do
hope it receives immediate dismissal.  This would be like asking
the phone company to turn off phone service for people that arrange
drug deals or similar.  Not something that I see happening.

	- jared

Jared Mauch  | pgp key available via finger from
clue++;      |  My statements are only mine.

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