Steven Hetcher


I will argue for a fundamental reconceptualization of liability for copyright infringement. Specifically, I will argue that the essentially unchallenged orthodoxy that copyright infringement is a strict liability tort is false. From the Supreme Court on down, it does not even appear to be questioned that copyright infringement applies a strict liability standard. Upon reflection, this is peculiar, given that this is anything but an innocuous doctrine. It is just the opposite; it is a doctrine that strongly favors copyright owners who may more easily prevail in infringement suits, as it will always be easier to establish strict liability as compared to fault liability. Fault liability is strict liability with one additional showing—not just that the defendant injured the plaintiff, but that the defendant injured the plaintiff and did so in a faulty manner. READ MORE, download the article.