ruling: liability for providers who don't act on clients' illegal activities?

Gadi Evron ge at
Mon Sep 7 16:57:54 UTC 2009

Jury Exacts $32M Penalty From ISPs For Supporting Criminal Websites

'Landmark case' indicates that ISPs may be held liable if they know 
about criminal activity on their customers' Websites and fail to act

A federal jury in California this week levied a total of $32 million in 
damages from two Internet service providers that knowingly supported 
Websites that were running illegal operations.

In a lawsuit brought by fashion company Louis Vuitton, a jury ruled that 
two ISPs -- Akanoc Solutions and Managed Solutions Group -- knew about 
counterfeit Vuitton goods that were being sold on their customers' 
sites, but didn't act quickly to pull the plug on those sites. The 
decision was first reported on Tuesday.

The ruling has been called a landmark decision by some legal experts, 
who note that ISPs historically have been protected by the Digital 
Millennium Copyright Act, which limits service providers' liability for 
criminal actions that take place on their networks.

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