online without authorization has been a problematical matter and one that has no easyanswer.
However the purpose of this essay is not to examine how to address liability, butinstead to study the motivations behind this criminal development in light of Lawrence E. Cohen and Marcus Felson’s Routine Activity Theory. Through such anexamination it is proposed that a measure of understanding could be gleaned about theescalating phenomena of digital piracy.
[2.0] Addressing Digital Piracy
[2.1] Origins of Digital Piracy
The liability of online intermediaries was one of the first Internet related legalquestions to make headlines and agitate the fledgling Internet industry.
It was notlong before the issue received the attention of legislators, such as in the 1991 libelhosting case of
Cubby v CompuServe
However this case was only the beginning and soon liability issues began to arise concerning a multitude of differenttypes of content. These issues then in turn raised further diverse issues that alternateddepending on the type of content in question. However the decisions of courts andsubsequent legislation across the world (such as Defamation Act in the UnitedKingdom
, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the United States
and theEuropean Electronic Commerce Directive
) led to different classifications of issuesand policy. These different arrangements of authorship and types of material were notsystematically defined in the early jurisprudence, leading to widely differingregulations being imposed in legal systems. Additional complications even arose
John Kennedy, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry,
Digital Music Report
(IFPI,2010), at 3
Edwards and Waelde, note 2, at 10
766 F Supp 135, United States District Court, Southern District New York (1991)
United Kingdom Defamation Act 1996
Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 112 stat 2860, 1998
EU Electronic Commerce Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the EuropeanCouncil of the 8
of June 2000