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Abstract

In a pre-Napster world Congress sought to promote theadvancement and development of the Internet. To facilitate this expansion, Congress enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), which protects internet service providers from copyright infringement liability. Due, in part, to the DMCA, the Internet has expanded beyond Congress' expectations. With the growth of the Internet, however, inequities have been created. YouTube epitomizes these inequities and Viacom's suit highlights the injustices that have been created. The ease with which copyrighted materials are published on the Internet has made it impossible for copyright owners to adequately protect their works. It is time for Congress to revise the DMCA because the burden on copyright owners to protect their works from infringement greatly outweighs the burden placed on service providers.

This Comment discusses the disproportionate burdens confronted by copyright owners compared to service providers and the significant changes to the DMCA which are required to alleviate this problem. Part II explores the history of the DMCA and the rules that govern its application. Part III examines the lawsuit Viacom brought against YouTube alleging direct, contributory, and vicarious copyright infringement. Part IV analyzes YouTube's defense predicated on the DMCA. Part V offers suggestions to correct the imbalance in the burden on copyright owners and service providers.

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