Internet Intermediaries

AuthorCameron Hutchison
 
Internet Intermediaries
Internet intermediaries provide the tools through which people com-
municate with one another in cyberspace. In terms of their legal treat-
ment under the Copyright Act, they may be grouped into four functional
categories: () service providers that oer connectivity to the Internet
(network services), () the digital space for hosting content on web
pages (digital memory), () search engines that facilitate the location
of desired content (information location tools), and () sites that exist
to enable f‌ile transfers of content (infringement enablers). In respect
of the f‌irst three categories, these services are integral to the operation
of the Internet and, in connection with copyright goals in particular,
they oer the opportunity to legally disseminate works on an unprec-
edented scale. e dark side, from the perspective of copyright hold-
ers, is that intermediaries also facilitate the dissemination of infringing
content, also on an unprecedented scale. To target the uploaders and
distributors of infringing content is an unworkable solution: the cost
of locating and suing each infringer on the Internet is too high. For
these reasons, Internet intermediaries have always been (and contin-
ue to be) the focus of eorts by copyright holders to extract compen-
sation for their role in facilitating, and indirectly benef‌iting from, the
dissemination of pirated content. But the same problem of scale that
prevents copyright holders from eectively pursuing those responsible

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