This article probes into the liabilities that service providers may incur on the internet. Liabilities such as copyright infringement , pornography, and defamation are common sources of liability on the Internet. The author begins by discussing the different types of copyright infringement. These include direct infringement, contributory infringement, and vicarious liability. In response to these different types of infringements, Congress and the President signed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, DMCA. The author next investigates the issue of pornography on the Internet by giving a case history of the development of obscene pornography. This section of the article is concluded with a brief discussion of The Communications Decency Act, enacted in February 1996. Next, the author provides the reader with a brief synopsis of the issues surrounding defamation on the Internet. The author concludes by offering a look at the world in conjunction with these three liabilities.
Mitchell P. Goldstein, Service Provider Liability for Acts Committed by Users: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You, 18 J. Marshall J. Computer & Info. L. 591 (2000)