Self-publishing supersite Scribd is off the hook for copyright infringement, at least in one case, after a lawsuit against it was either settled or abandoned (depending on who you believe). The lawsuit in question charged that Scribd’s use of a complete digital copy of a text in its anti-infringement filter was itself a copyright infringement.

Most copyright notices these days do include a warning against unauthorized digital copying and storage of the book in question, but Scribd’s attorney holds that in this case it is clearly a fair use. The suit came from a children’s book author who was angry that a copy of her book was found on Scribd, even though Scribd promptly removed it once notified (as per its obligation under the DMCA) and added it to its filter to prevent such a thing from happening again.

Ironically, one of the plaintiff’s lawyers in this case was one of peer-to-peer cause celebre Jammie Thomas’s defense attorneys.

However, Techdirt points out that another copyright lawsuit against Scribd has found a judge who is allowing it to go forward, at least until it reaches the point of a summary judgment. I suspect that lawsuits against Scribd, or YouTube, or any other site that allows users to upload their own content are essentially going to be inevitable, DMCA or no.


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