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I am interested how copyright law works in the case of Rapidshare, Youtube and etc. Just hypothetically speaking, what if I create a website for uploading and sharing MP3 files, and some users start uploading songs in MP3 format that are protected by copyright laws.

Can I get sued for this? Knowing that it wasn't me who uploaded that content?

Thanks!

PS. also maybe there is some good source where I could read about law cavities related to copyright material?

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Of course you can be sued. If you tell us what jurisdiction you're in you may be able to get a useful opinion on how likely it is. –  Peter Taylor Aug 14 '11 at 22:32

2 Answers 2

You can not be sued for hosting content that other people upload, unless you receive a request to take something down and you don't follow it. also if your site does not discourage people from uploading copyrighted content you can get into a bit of trouble. like having a site saying 'upload your favorite songs here so everyone can enjoy them' would obviously get you into a lot of trouble. 'upload your songs here if you have the rights to them' would be ok.

As long as you take content down immediately after receiving a notice that it's copyrighted content you should be ok. (I am not a lawyer, i assume this is US law we're talking about)

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As long as you take content down immediately after receiving a notice that it's copyrighted content you should be ok.

What xyious said is generally correct, but you are always responsible for what your users do, you need to spend a great amount of time and resources to remove copyright violations, otherwise you might get in trouble very easily, you can get your domain suspended for example!

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