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University of Iowa College of Law




This Article contends that the basic premise of Sony---that context and effect must play a role in evaluating allegations of secondary liability for copyright infringement-has application beyond the isolated case of equipment manufacture. More specifically, I propose a modified Sony framework for evaluating secondary liability for linking to infringing content. While this approach repudiates the strict view of secondary liability in favor of a more nuanced analysis, it stops short of advocating wholesale immunity for linkers. To the contrary, I contend that certain links, like certain acts of direct infringement, threaten copyright law's incentives with few compensating benefits to the public and for that reason should be enjoined. Others, however, should be left undisturbed even when they appear to satisfy the elements for contributory or vicarious liability.

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