BUCERIUS IP CONFERENCE 2013: INNOVATION, COMPETITION AND COLLABORATION

Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, Germany
October 11, 2013


Professor Michael W. Carroll (American University Washington)
Limiting Secondary Liability to Make Space for Innovation


Participants in collaborative innovation need to rely on resources and inputs supplied by others. When those inputs are copyrighted works of authorship, doctrines of secondary liability or responsibility create the risk that one may become liable when providing platforms for users to share materials or when producing new technologies and services that enable new uses of copyrighted works.

Experience over the past 15 years shows that rules limiting secondary liability have proven crucial for the growth of platforms for sharing content, such as YouTube or Pinterest, as well as for manufacturers of consumer electronics. Suggestions that these rules should be rewritten to increase legal responsibility of these intermediaries for users' infringing conduct should be rejected.