Is There Hope for Relief For Copyright Errors You Make on the Internet?

I don’t see any relief coming for copyright errors you make on the Internet. The existing practices of the more aggressive copyright owners appear to be legitimate under existing law. And it is possible that a good defense can defeat particular cases under a theory of “equity”. But that will depend on the particulars of the specific copyright case. And it will be costly, a money loser for both sides. The copyright lawyers will be the only winners in those cases.

The only way I see relief is if Congress changes the copyright law to provide a forgiveness clause in the law for unintentional infringers. Right now, copyright law says those offenders can receive judgments which require lower payments. But eliminating payments altogether would reduce the rights of the photographer. Restated, this is simply a matter of public policy. Should we feel sorry for, and forgive, those who can prove they unintentionally infringed the copyright? Or should we vigorously support the photographer, the creator of the photo? This is a public policy, political, judgment call. I don’t see anything that says Congress will change copyright laws any time soon.

 

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