Monday, July 18, 2005

Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd v Cooper

A court in Austalia has held a website owner and his hosting ISP liable for facilitating copyright infringement. Stephen Cooper ran the "MP3s4FREE" website. It's not particularly surprising that Mr Cooper was held liable for copyright infringement but he has also been held liable for linking to other websites containing infringing material.

The court made copiuous reference to a much criticised US court decision, Universal City Studios, Inc v Reimerdes, where the defendant editor of the Hacker 2600 magazine, despite relying on a first amendment defence, was also held liable for linking (in that case to websites containing the DMCA-outlawed DeCSS code). Although Judge Kaplan was criticised over the DeCSS linking decision my most enduring memory of that judgement was his entertaining expose of the publicity seeking tactics of both sides in the case.

Thanks to Yiango Yiangoullis for providing a link to the Cooper decision.

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