Michael W. Carroll
This chapter addresses the law that limits Internet service providers’ liability for copyright infringement arising from their own conduct and that of their users. Enacted as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, this policy shields providers from monetary liability when they provide four types of service: (1) network transmission; (2) website caching; (3) storage of content at the direction of a user and (4) links to online locations at which infringing material can be found. Each of these safe harbors is subject to a set of conditions. After describing the policy and legal background concerning service provider liability and the enactment of the safe harbor provision, this chapter explains the statutory text and its reception in the courts. Finally, this chapter identifies issues that are particularly salient for providers and users of social media.