Rethinking Cyberlaw

Rethinking Cyberlaw

A New Vision for Internet Law

Rethinking Law series

Jacqueline Lipton

The rapid increase in Internet usage over the past several decades has led to the development of new and essential areas of legislation and legal study. Jacqueline Lipton takes on the thorny question of how to define the field that has come to be known variously as cyberlaw, cyberspace law or Internet law. Unlike much of the existing literature, this book tackles the question with the benefit of hindsight and draws on several decades of legal developments in the United States and abroad that help illustrate the scope of the field.

Chapter 2: Digital copyright law

Jacqueline Lipton

Subjects: innovation and technology, technology and ict, law - academic, information and media law, internet and technology law


This chapter examines ways in which digital technology has challenged prior conceptions of copyright law and practice. It identifies emerging themes in digital copyright law and again focuses on the central role played by online intermediaries in monitoring and regulating the use and misuse of copyrights online. Issues of primary versus secondary liability for copyright infringement by online intermediaries is examined. The extent to which online intermediaries can avail themselves of the fair use defense to infringement in different contexts is also considered, as well as the role of the first sale defense in a digital context. The impact of the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on the practices of online intermediaries is also considered.

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