Re-Constructing Intellectual Property Law in a Knowledge Society
Edited by Thomas Riis
Chapter 10: Private enforcement of IP law by internet service providers: notice and action procedures
Internet service providers (ISPs) play a significant role in our current knowledge-based society by providing services for internet access, use, or participation. ISPs facilitate structured exchange of information for the benefit of internet users and are able to control information exchange within their services. As a response to the inefficiency of litigation and other traditional means of law enforcement, private forms of dispute resolution and law enforcement have emerged which have largely replaced traditional means of law enforcement when it comes to dealing with allegedly illegal content and activity in internet services. This chapter concerns one significant example of private means devoted to law enforcement: the so-called notice and action (N & A) procedures. ISPs use N & A procedures to handle notifications from third parties about allegedly illegal content or activity on an internet platform, usually in order to avoid liability for making such content available for the public. When notified of illegal content, the ISP may, for example, remove the content (notice-and-takedown procedure), block access to the content, or request that it be voluntarily taken down by the person who posted it online. Organizations using N & A procedures include providers of hosting services, social media (such as Facebook and YouTube), search engines (such as Google and Bing), P2P file-sharing services and cyberlockers. In this chapter, we will use the user generated law model presented in Chapter 1 to analyse the emergence and development of these N & A procedures.
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