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House bill would limit online services' copyright liability

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House bill would limit online services' copyright liability 08/25/97 WASHINGTON, D.C.--A House bill introduced in mid-July could protect Internet access…

House bill would limit online services’ copyright liability

08/25/97

WASHINGTON, D.C.–A House bill introduced in mid-July could protect Internet access providers from liability for copyright infringement when they transmit material to third parties without changing or editing it.

The On-Line Copyright Liability Limitation Act provides on-line services with an exemption from liability for direct infringement and vicarious liability if the service did not initiate the circulation of the material or create or change its content.

The provider would also be required to show it does not decide who receives such materials, receives no financial benefit from the infringement, and neither actively encourage others to use the material or know of the infringement.

The On-Line Copyright Liability Limitation Act was prompted by concerns of Internet access providers who feared lawsuits based on copyright infringements by users who utilized their systems to send copyrighted materials to others without the copyright owners’ permission, according to bill sponsor Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC). (H.R. 2180)