"Ninth Circuit Rules in UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Shelter Capital Partners LLC"

On March 14, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit issued its decision in UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Shelter Capital Partners LLC (Case No. 10-55732), affirming the trial court's granting of the defendant's motion for summary judgment.  The Ninth Circuit found that one of the "safe harbor" provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the "DMCA") protected the defendant from all of the plaintiffs' direct and secondary infringement claims. 

In particular, the Court found that the defendant qualified for protection under 17 U.S.C. Section 512(c), which protects a service provider from liability based upon content that has been placed on its systems or networks at the direction of its users, as opposed to by the service provider itself.  The Court agreed with the district court in finding that the defendant had met all the requirements under Section 512(c), and therefore affirmed the entry of summary judgment in the defendant's favor.

This Stroock Special Bulletin provides an overview of the UMG Recordings, Inc. decision, which establishes the Ninth Circuit's current position that the DMCA's "safe harbor" provisions should be viewed broadly in order to maintain a free flow of information on the Internet.