Copyright liability for users and distributors of content sharing and communication technologies: A crossroads between past and present

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Abstract

In the last decade or so, society has seen the beginnings of a digital revolution where innovation and technological advancement met and changed the way in which people use digital technology. This has only increased the ambit of confusion between the law and technology innovation. This is evident with the creation and distribution of content sharing and communication technologies such as peer-to-peer, network distributive systems, file sharing software and other technology enabling software where users are able to share and access information. The recurring issues that appear throughout case precedent have reinforced the uncertainty and confusion over the interpretation of authorisation. This paper will explore the concept of authorisation and evaluate the courts' interpretation of what constitutes an authorisation of infringement with respect to technology innovators of communication technologies. This will be achieved through a discussion of the cases that explored 'authorisation' through the genealogy of authorisation. It is important to discuss the history of authorisation first, and then evaluate how the courts have interpreted 'authorisation'. This paper will demonstrate how the interpretation of authorisation has created ambiguity and uncertainty for technology innovators and developers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalInformation and Communications Technology Law
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

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authorization
liability
communication technology
present
Communication
innovator
interpretation
Innovation
uncertainty
innovation
Peer to peer networks
genealogy
Law
history

Cite this

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abstract = "In the last decade or so, society has seen the beginnings of a digital revolution where innovation and technological advancement met and changed the way in which people use digital technology. This has only increased the ambit of confusion between the law and technology innovation. This is evident with the creation and distribution of content sharing and communication technologies such as peer-to-peer, network distributive systems, file sharing software and other technology enabling software where users are able to share and access information. The recurring issues that appear throughout case precedent have reinforced the uncertainty and confusion over the interpretation of authorisation. This paper will explore the concept of authorisation and evaluate the courts' interpretation of what constitutes an authorisation of infringement with respect to technology innovators of communication technologies. This will be achieved through a discussion of the cases that explored 'authorisation' through the genealogy of authorisation. It is important to discuss the history of authorisation first, and then evaluate how the courts have interpreted 'authorisation'. This paper will demonstrate how the interpretation of authorisation has created ambiguity and uncertainty for technology innovators and developers.",
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