Internet Law Introduction

“When society possesses accredited lawgivers or tribunals, it is part of there function to
supervise the operation of custom…” Carleton Kemp Allen – Professor of Jurisprudence in the University of Oxford.

Although “customary uses and implied licenses help keep many of the on-line activities we see from being infringements”, one can be liable for copyright infringement in the on-line or internet world. Copyright defenses exist for many alleged copyright infringement lawsuits such as fair use, implied licenses, and custom. This paper explores these defenses with a focus on internet custom as a defense to a copyright infringement claim.

In the first part of this paper the author will begin by a brief historical analysis of the internet. Then, the author defines certain terms used commonly when discussing internet legal issues. Next, the author proves how one can infringe in the on-line world of copyright and offers a defense of fair use to infringement, and a defense of implied licenses to a copyright infringement claim.

The second part of this paper the author introduces the reader to custom as a source of law. This includes the requisites that courts look at when deciding on using a custom as the effect of law. In addition, the author analyzes how the courts have held when considering custom’s effect on copyright law. Finally, the author will answer the inquiry of how custom can be applied as a defense to a copyright claim on internet?