Rebalancing Section 512


Section 512 of the Copyright Act, passed in 1998, was created to preserve incentives for online service providers (OSPs) and copyright owners to cooperate on detecting and policing copyright infringement, while also giving those OSPs greater certainty about their legal exposure. The idea was to provide a safe harbor to OSPs that would also help to fight piracy.


In practice, while Section 512 has reduced OSPs’ liability risk, piracy has grown exponentially. This is partly due to how federal courts have interpreted the law. Indeed, the U.S. Copyright Office has concluded that, when it comes to Section 512, “Congress’ original intended balance has been tilted askew.”

Read the full explainer here.