How would you rule in this case?


Consider your own professional experience and reflect on the issue covered by this week’s readings through your own lens, experience and thinking. It may be something that you either personally experienced, or it could be something that you observed that reflects back to the readings.

Using a critical thinking perspective (generally: positive, negative, and opinion) write a five paragraph summary that involves the topic of “illegal content” since 80% of all theft is conducted by employees of a company. See page 14, Legal Issue 1.2 for a better understanding and the use of the DCMA.

REMEMBER: All papers MUST use references even if they are from the text.

Legal Issue 1.2: Is it a crime to link to infringed/illegal content?

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA), Universal City Studios, Inc. brought a lawsuit against three hackers who had provided software that could decrypt digitally encrypted movies on DVDs. The hackers also provided hyperlinks to other websites with decryption software. At the time, motion picture companies were using encrypted DVDs as the main method of distributing movies to consumers. The hackers argued that providing decryption information on their website was protected under the First Amendment, which guarantees the freedoms of speech and press, thus the hyperlinks to websites with infringed/illegal content is also protected by the First Amendment. The U.S. District Court disagreed and stated that by providing decryption software and hyperlinks to websites with decryption software, the hackers had violated copyright laws, specifically the DCMA.31

Imagine you are the judge on the U.S. District Court and you have to decide a case where the defendant is accused of violating the DCMA by providing hyperlinks from his legal website to a website that sells stolen goods. How would you rule in this case? What would be the mitigating or aggravating factors you would consider?

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