An internet service customer did not owe a duty of care to a copyright owner to protect against infringement that might occur through the unauthorized use of his internet connection, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California ruled Jan. 29 (AF Holdings L.L.C. v. Rogers, S.D. Cal., No. 3:12-cv-01519-BTM-BLM, 1/29/13).
The copyright owner's negligence claim was based on the defendant's alleged failure to properly secure his internet connection to protect against misuse by third parties. Chief Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz dismissed the negligence claim, for two reasons.
First, the court said, “To the extent that Plaintiff claims that Defendant knew that someone was using his internet connection to copy and share Plaintiff's Video, Plaintiff's negligence claim is preempted by the Copyright Act.”
Second, to the extent that the plaintiff's negligence claim is based on an allegation that the defendant failed to secure or monitor his internet connection, the claim also fails, the court said, because no duty of care can arise unless there is a special relationship creating a duty to act.
“There is no special relationship between Plaintiff and Defendant which gives rise to a duty on the part of Defendant to ensure, through heightened security measures and hawkish monitoring of internet usage, that nobody uses his internet connection to infringe Plaintiff's copyright,” the court said.
Indeed, the court said, quoting New Sensations Inc. v. Doe, No. 12cv03800 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 1, 2012), “common sense dictates that most people in the United States would be astounded to learn that they had such a legal duty.”
Text is available at http://about.bloomberg.com/files/2013/02/12cv1519_012913.pdf.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).