The battle against copyright trolls is going to get more complex as the Supreme Court is poised to hear arguments in the case of copyright infringement.
Here are five ways to stop them.
Create a “notice and takedown” system that requires companies to take down infringing content before it can be used.
The Supreme Court ruled last year that companies need to take action before the public can see any copyrighted material online.
But if copyright owners can take down material, they can then use it to threaten and punish companies who don’t take down the material.
That creates a slippery slope that can result in copyright owners using their legal power to sue individual users for sharing their work.
The court’s decision said the public has a right to see copyright infringing content online, but that the courts should also provide a system that allows them to remove content once it’s publicly available.
Take down sites that make it easier for copyright owners to sue individuals.
In 2014, the Supreme House of Representatives passed a bill that would have required copyright owners who infringed a copyright to pay a fine that could be up to $10,000.
But a federal appeals court ruled in March that the bill was unconstitutional because it did not go far enough to stop abusive lawsuits and to provide an avenue for courts to compel copyright owners’ compliance.
Get a judge’s permission to remove infringing content.
A 2016 ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that copyright owners cannot use the threat of litigation to deter people from sharing copyrighted content online.
The case is still pending.
Limit the amount of copyright-infringing material that can be posted online.
In June, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit against Twitter, Facebook, Google, Instagram, and other social media platforms that posted copyrighted material that violated copyright laws.
The judge who heard the case, Judge Jed Rakoff, said in his opinion that the social media companies’ failure to take steps to delete or remove copyrighted material was not just a matter of bad taste, but an effort to “disguise” their content as free speech.
Create “fair use” exceptions for copyrighted material.
The Copyright Office, the government agency that oversees copyright law, has created fair use exceptions for many types of copyrighted material, but the courts have struggled to define them.
The most common use of fair use is when a copyright owner wants to use a copyrighted work for purposes other than what the copyright owner originally intended.
But fair use also includes things like criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
Copyright owners often use fair use as a way to avoid liability.
In the case that the Supreme court heard last week, copyright owners filed a complaint against a group of students who allegedly used a photo from a video game game to create an online fundraising page.
The students claimed that they were infringing on the work of the game developer and that they could not use the photo without violating the fair use doctrine.
The copyright owners said the students should not have used the photo for a fundraising campaign.
The appeals court disagreed, ruling that the photo was fair use because it showed a person playing the game in an “illustrative way” without infringing on his or her copyright.