After twenty years: Revisiting copyright liability of online intermediaries

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


After Twenty Years is the title of a classic short story written by O. Henry and tells the story of Bob and Jimmy, old friends who have promised to meet after twenty years. The night of the meeting, Jimmy, who in the interim has become a police officer, watches Bob from the side. Under the light of the cigarette, Jimmy sees Bob and recognises the face of a wanted criminal. Instead of showing up for the reunion, Jimmy sends the police to arrest Bob. Similarly, with the story as it plays out above, the twenty years that have passed since the first copyright lawsuit was filed against an online intermediary in the United States have seen many changes in the nature of the characters as they were then and now. As is the case for Bob and Jimmy, these changes have myriad ramifications. In our story of copyright liability of online intermediaries, this requires a reconsideration of the underlying assumption that providing immunity for online intermediaries suffices to secure the free flow of information and the freedoms of online users.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Evolution and Equilibrium of Copyright in the Digital Age
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781107477179
ISBN (Print)9781107062566
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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