17 U.S.C. § 512 : US Code - Section 512: Limitations on liability relating to material online

      (a) Transitory Digital Network Communications. - A service
    provider shall not be liable for monetary relief, or, except as
    provided in subsection (j), for injunctive or other equitable
    relief, for infringement of copyright by reason of the provider's
    transmitting, routing, or providing connections for, material
    through a system or network controlled or operated by or for the
    service provider, or by reason of the intermediate and transient
    storage of that material in the course of such transmitting,
    routing, or providing connections, if - 
        (1) the transmission of the material was initiated by or at the
      direction of a person other than the service provider;
        (2) the transmission, routing, provision of connections, or
      storage is carried out through an automatic technical process
      without selection of the material by the service provider;
        (3) the service provider does not select the recipients of the
      material except as an automatic response to the request of
      another person;
        (4) no copy of the material made by the service provider in the
      course of such intermediate or transient storage is maintained on
      the system or network in a manner ordinarily accessible to anyone
      other than anticipated recipients, and no such copy is maintained
      on the system or network in a manner ordinarily accessible to
      such anticipated recipients for a longer period than is
      reasonably necessary for the transmission, routing, or provision
      of connections; and
        (5) the material is transmitted through the system or network
      without modification of its content.

      (b) System Caching. - 
        (1) Limitation on liability. - A service provider shall not be
      liable for monetary relief, or, except as provided in subsection
      (j), for injunctive or other equitable relief, for infringement
      of copyright by reason of the intermediate and temporary storage
      of material on a system or network controlled or operated by or
      for the service provider in a case in which - 
          (A) the material is made available online by a person other
        than the service provider;
          (B) the material is transmitted from the person described in
        subparagraph (A) through the system or network to a person
        other than the person described in subparagraph (A) at the
        direction of that other person; and
          (C) the storage is carried out through an automatic technical
        process for the purpose of making the material available to
        users of the system or network who, after the material is
        transmitted as described in subparagraph (B), request access to
        the material from the person described in subparagraph (A),

      if the conditions set forth in paragraph (2) are met.
        (2) Conditions. - The conditions referred to in paragraph (1)
      are that - 
          (A) the material described in paragraph (1) is transmitted to
        the subsequent users described in paragraph (1)(C) without
        modification to its content from the manner in which the
        material was transmitted from the person described in paragraph
        (1)(A);
          (B) the service provider described in paragraph (1) complies
        with rules concerning the refreshing, reloading, or other
        updating of the material when specified by the person making
        the material available online in accordance with a generally
        accepted industry standard data communications protocol for the
        system or network through which that person makes the material
        available, except that this subparagraph applies only if those
        rules are not used by the person described in paragraph (1)(A)
        to prevent or unreasonably impair the intermediate storage to
        which this subsection applies;
          (C) the service provider does not interfere with the ability
        of technology associated with the material to return to the
        person described in paragraph (1)(A) the information that would
        have been available to that person if the material had been
        obtained by the subsequent users described in paragraph (1)(C)
        directly from that person, except that this subparagraph
        applies only if that technology - 
            (i) does not significantly interfere with the performance
          of the provider's system or network or with the intermediate
          storage of the material;
            (ii) is consistent with generally accepted industry
          standard communications protocols; and
            (iii) does not extract information from the provider's
          system or network other than the information that would have
          been available to the person described in paragraph (1)(A) if
          the subsequent users had gained access to the material
          directly from that person;

          (D) if the person described in paragraph (1)(A) has in effect
        a condition that a person must meet prior to having access to
        the material, such as a condition based on payment of a fee or
        provision of a password or other information, the service
        provider permits access to the stored material in significant
        part only to users of its system or network that have met those
        conditions and only in accordance with those conditions; and
          (E) if the person described in paragraph (1)(A) makes that
        material available online without the authorization of the
        copyright owner of the material, the service provider responds
        expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material
        that is claimed to be infringing upon notification of claimed
        infringement as described in subsection (c)(3), except that
        this subparagraph applies only if - 
            (i) the material has previously been removed from the
          originating site or access to it has been disabled, or a
          court has ordered that the material be removed from the
          originating site or that access to the material on the
          originating site be disabled; and
            (ii) the party giving the notification includes in the
          notification a statement confirming that the material has
          been removed from the originating site or access to it has
          been disabled or that a court has ordered that the material
          be removed from the originating site or that access to the
          material on the originating site be disabled.

      (c) Information Residing on Systems or Networks At Direction of
    Users. - 
        (1) In general. - A service provider shall not be liable for
      monetary relief, or, except as provided in subsection (j), for
      injunctive or other equitable relief, for infringement of
      copyright by reason of the storage at the direction of a user of
      material that resides on a system or network controlled or
      operated by or for the service provider, if the service provider -
       
          (A)(i) does not have actual knowledge that the material or an
        activity using the material on the system or network is
        infringing;
          (ii) in the absence of such actual knowledge, is not aware of
        facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is
        apparent; or
          (iii) upon obtaining such knowledge or awareness, acts
        expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material;
          (B) does not receive a financial benefit directly
        attributable to the infringing activity, in a case in which the
        service provider has the right and ability to control such
        activity; and
          (C) upon notification of claimed infringement as described in
        paragraph (3), responds expeditiously to remove, or disable
        access to, the material that is claimed to be infringing or to
        be the subject of infringing activity.

        (2) Designated agent. - The limitations on liability
      established in this subsection apply to a service provider only
      if the service provider has designated an agent to receive
      notifications of claimed infringement described in paragraph (3),
      by making available through its service, including on its website
      in a location accessible to the public, and by providing to the
      Copyright Office, substantially the following information:
          (A) the name, address, phone number, and electronic mail
        address of the agent.
          (B) other contact information which the Register of
        Copyrights may deem appropriate.

      The Register of Copyrights shall maintain a current directory of
      agents available to the public for inspection, including through
      the Internet, and may require payment of a fee by service
      providers to cover the costs of maintaining the directory.
        (3) Elements of notification. - 
          (A) To be effective under this subsection, a notification of
        claimed infringement must be a written communication provided
        to the designated agent of a service provider that includes
        substantially the following:
            (i) A physical or electronic signature of a person
          authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive
          right that is allegedly infringed.
            (ii) Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have
          been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single
          online site are covered by a single notification, a
          representative list of such works at that site.
            (iii) Identification of the material that is claimed to be
          infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and
          that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled,
          and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service
          provider to locate the material.
            (iv) Information reasonably sufficient to permit the
          service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an
          address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic
          mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.
            (v) A statement that the complaining party has a good faith
          belief that use of the material in the manner complained of
          is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the
          law.
            (vi) A statement that the information in the notification
          is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the
          complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner
          of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

          (B)(i) Subject to clause (ii), a notification from a
        copyright owner or from a person authorized to act on behalf of
        the copyright owner that fails to comply substantially with the
        provisions of subparagraph (A) shall not be considered under
        paragraph (1)(A) in determining whether a service provider has
        actual knowledge or is aware of facts or circumstances from
        which infringing activity is apparent.
          (ii) In a case in which the notification that is provided to
        the service provider's designated agent fails to comply
        substantially with all the provisions of subparagraph (A) but
        substantially complies with clauses (ii), (iii), and (iv) of
        subparagraph (A), clause (i) of this subparagraph applies only
        if the service provider promptly attempts to contact the person
        making the notification or takes other reasonable steps to
        assist in the receipt of notification that substantially
        complies with all the provisions of subparagraph (A).

      (d) Information Location Tools. - A service provider shall not be
    liable for monetary relief, or, except as provided in subsection
    (j), for injunctive or other equitable relief, for infringement of
    copyright by reason of the provider referring or linking users to
    an online location containing infringing material or infringing
    activity, by using information location tools, including a
    directory, index, reference, pointer, or hypertext link, if the
    service provider - 
        (1)(A) does not have actual knowledge that the material or
      activity is infringing;
        (B) in the absence of such actual knowledge, is not aware of
      facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is
      apparent; or
        (C) upon obtaining such knowledge or awareness, acts
      expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material;
        (2) does not receive a financial benefit directly attributable
      to the infringing activity, in a case in which the service
      provider has the right and ability to control such activity; and
        (3) upon notification of claimed infringement as described in
      subsection (c)(3), responds expeditiously to remove, or disable
      access to, the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be
      the subject of infringing activity, except that, for purposes of
      this paragraph, the information described in subsection
      (c)(3)(A)(iii) shall be identification of the reference or link,
      to material or activity claimed to be infringing, that is to be
      removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information
      reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate
      that reference or link.

      (e) Limitation on Liability of Nonprofit Educational
    Institutions. - (1) When a public or other nonprofit institution of
    higher education is a service provider, and when a faculty member
    or graduate student who is an employee of such institution is
    performing a teaching or research function, for the purposes of
    subsections (a) and (b) such faculty member or graduate student
    shall be considered to be a person other than the institution, and
    for the purposes of subsections (c) and (d) such faculty member's
    or graduate student's knowledge or awareness of his or her
    infringing activities shall not be attributed to the institution,
    if - 
        (A) such faculty member's or graduate student's infringing
      activities do not involve the provision of online access to
      instructional materials that are or were required or recommended,
      within the preceding 3-year period, for a course taught at the
      institution by such faculty member or graduate student;
        (B) the institution has not, within the preceding 3-year
      period, received more than two notifications described in
      subsection (c)(3) of claimed infringement by such faculty member
      or graduate student, and such notifications of claimed
      infringement were not actionable under subsection (f); and
        (C) the institution provides to all users of its system or
      network informational materials that accurately describe, and
      promote compliance with, the laws of the United States relating
      to copyright.

      (2) For the purposes of this subsection, the limitations on
    injunctive relief contained in subsections (j)(2) and (j)(3), but
    not those in (j)(1), shall apply.
      (f) Misrepresentations. - Any person who knowingly materially
    misrepresents under this section - 
        (1) that material or activity is infringing, or
        (2) that material or activity was removed or disabled by
      mistake or misidentification,

    shall be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys'
    fees, incurred by the alleged infringer, by any copyright owner or
    copyright owner's authorized licensee, or by a service provider,
    who is injured by such misrepresentation, as the result of the
    service provider relying upon such misrepresentation in removing or
    disabling access to the material or activity claimed to be
    infringing, or in replacing the removed material or ceasing to
    disable access to it.
      (g) Replacement of Removed or Disabled Material and Limitation on
    Other Liability. - 
        (1) No liability for taking down generally. - Subject to
      paragraph (2), a service provider shall not be liable to any
      person for any claim based on the service provider's good faith
      disabling of access to, or removal of, material or activity
      claimed to be infringing or based on facts or circumstances from
      which infringing activity is apparent, regardless of whether the
      material or activity is ultimately determined to be infringing.
        (2) Exception. - Paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to
      material residing at the direction of a subscriber of the service
      provider on a system or network controlled or operated by or for
      the service provider that is removed, or to which access is
      disabled by the service provider, pursuant to a notice provided
      under subsection (c)(1)(C), unless the service provider - 
          (A) takes reasonable steps promptly to notify the subscriber
        that it has removed or disabled access to the material;
          (B) upon receipt of a counter notification described in
        paragraph (3), promptly provides the person who provided the
        notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) with a copy of the
        counter notification, and informs that person that it will
        replace the removed material or cease disabling access to it in
        10 business days; and
          (C) replaces the removed material and ceases disabling access
        to it not less than 10, nor more than 14, business days
        following receipt of the counter notice, unless its designated
        agent first receives notice from the person who submitted the
        notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) that such person has
        filed an action seeking a court order to restrain the
        subscriber from engaging in infringing activity relating to the
        material on the service provider's system or network.

        (3) Contents of counter notification. - To be effective under
      this subsection, a counter notification must be a written
      communication provided to the service provider's designated agent
      that includes substantially the following:
          (A) A physical or electronic signature of the subscriber.
          (B) Identification of the material that has been removed or
        to which access has been disabled and the location at which the
        material appeared before it was removed or access to it was
        disabled.
          (C) A statement under penalty of perjury that the subscriber
        has a good faith belief that the material was removed or
        disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the
        material to be removed or disabled.
          (D) The subscriber's name, address, and telephone number, and
        a statement that the subscriber consents to the jurisdiction of
        Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the
        address is located, or if the subscriber's address is outside
        of the United States, for any judicial district in which the
        service provider may be found, and that the subscriber will
        accept service of process from the person who provided
        notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) or an agent of such
        person.

        (4) Limitation on other liability. - A service provider's
      compliance with paragraph (2) shall not subject the service
      provider to liability for copyright infringement with respect to
      the material identified in the notice provided under subsection
      (c)(1)(C).

      (h) Subpoena To Identify Infringer. - 
        (1) Request. - A copyright owner or a person authorized to act
      on the owner's behalf may request the clerk of any United States
      district court to issue a subpoena to a service provider for
      identification of an alleged infringer in accordance with this
      subsection.
        (2) Contents of request. - The request may be made by filing
      with the clerk - 
          (A) a copy of a notification described in subsection
        (c)(3)(A);
          (B) a proposed subpoena; and
          (C) a sworn declaration to the effect that the purpose for
        which the subpoena is sought is to obtain the identity of an
        alleged infringer and that such information will only be used
        for the purpose of protecting rights under this title.

        (3) Contents of subpoena. - The subpoena shall authorize and
      order the service provider receiving the notification and the
      subpoena to expeditiously disclose to the copyright owner or
      person authorized by the copyright owner information sufficient
      to identify the alleged infringer of the material described in
      the notification to the extent such information is available to
      the service provider.
        (4) Basis for granting subpoena. - If the notification filed
      satisfies the provisions of subsection (c)(3)(A), the proposed
      subpoena is in proper form, and the accompanying declaration is
      properly executed, the clerk shall expeditiously issue and sign
      the proposed subpoena and return it to the requester for delivery
      to the service provider.
        (5) Actions of service provider receiving subpoena. - Upon
      receipt of the issued subpoena, either accompanying or subsequent
      to the receipt of a notification described in subsection
      (c)(3)(A), the service provider shall expeditiously disclose to
      the copyright owner or person authorized by the copyright owner
      the information required by the subpoena, notwithstanding any
      other provision of law and regardless of whether the service
      provider responds to the notification.
        (6) Rules applicable to subpoena. - Unless otherwise provided
      by this section or by applicable rules of the court, the
      procedure for issuance and delivery of the subpoena, and the
      remedies for noncompliance with the subpoena, shall be governed
      to the greatest extent practicable by those provisions of the
      Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governing the issuance, service,
      and enforcement of a subpoena duces tecum.

      (i) Conditions for Eligibility. - 
        (1) Accommodation of technology. - The limitations on liability
      established by this section shall apply to a service provider
      only if the service provider - 
          (A) has adopted and reasonably implemented, and informs
        subscribers and account holders of the service provider's
        system or network of, a policy that provides for the
        termination in appropriate circumstances of subscribers and
        account holders of the service provider's system or network who
        are repeat infringers; and
          (B) accommodates and does not interfere with standard
        technical measures.

        (2) Definition. - As used in this subsection, the term
      "standard technical measures" means technical measures that are
      used by copyright owners to identify or protect copyrighted works
      and - 
          (A) have been developed pursuant to a broad consensus of
        copyright owners and service providers in an open, fair,
        voluntary, multi-industry standards process;
          (B) are available to any person on reasonable and
        nondiscriminatory terms; and
          (C) do not impose substantial costs on service providers or
        substantial burdens on their systems or networks.

      (j) Injunctions. - The following rules shall apply in the case of
    any application for an injunction under section 502 against a
    service provider that is not subject to monetary remedies under
    this section:
        (1) Scope of relief. - (A) With respect to conduct other than
      that which qualifies for the limitation on remedies set forth in
      subsection (a), the court may grant injunctive relief with
      respect to a service provider only in one or more of the
      following forms:
          (i) An order restraining the service provider from providing
        access to infringing material or activity residing at a
        particular online site on the provider's system or network.
          (ii) An order restraining the service provider from providing
        access to a subscriber or account holder of the service
        provider's system or network who is engaging in infringing
        activity and is identified in the order, by terminating the
        accounts of the subscriber or account holder that are specified
        in the order.
          (iii) Such other injunctive relief as the court may consider
        necessary to prevent or restrain infringement of copyrighted
        material specified in the order of the court at a particular
        online location, if such relief is the least burdensome to the
        service provider among the forms of relief comparably effective
        for that purpose.

        (B) If the service provider qualifies for the limitation on
      remedies described in subsection (a), the court may only grant
      injunctive relief in one or both of the following forms:
          (i) An order restraining the service provider from providing
        access to a subscriber or account holder of the service
        provider's system or network who is using the provider's
        service to engage in infringing activity and is identified in
        the order, by terminating the accounts of the subscriber or
        account holder that are specified in the order.
          (ii) An order restraining the service provider from providing
        access, by taking reasonable steps specified in the order to
        block access, to a specific, identified, online location
        outside the United States.

        (2) Considerations. - The court, in considering the relevant
      criteria for injunctive relief under applicable law, shall
      consider - 
          (A) whether such an injunction, either alone or in
        combination with other such injunctions issued against the same
        service provider under this subsection, would significantly
        burden either the provider or the operation of the provider's
        system or network;
          (B) the magnitude of the harm likely to be suffered by the
        copyright owner in the digital network environment if steps are
        not taken to prevent or restrain the infringement;
          (C) whether implementation of such an injunction would be
        technically feasible and effective, and would not interfere
        with access to noninfringing material at other online
        locations; and
          (D) whether other less burdensome and comparably effective
        means of preventing or restraining access to the infringing
        material are available.

        (3) Notice and ex parte orders. - Injunctive relief under this
      subsection shall be available only after notice to the service
      provider and an opportunity for the service provider to appear
      are provided, except for orders ensuring the preservation of
      evidence or other orders having no material adverse effect on the
      operation of the service provider's communications network.

      (k) Definitions. - 
        (1) Service provider. - (A) As used in subsection (a), the term
      "service provider" means an entity offering the transmission,
      routing, or providing of connections for digital online
      communications, between or among points specified by a user, of
      material of the user's choosing, without modification to the
      content of the material as sent or received.
        (B) As used in this section, other than subsection (a), the
      term "service provider" means a provider of online services or
      network access, or the operator of facilities therefor, and
      includes an entity described in subparagraph (A).
        (2) Monetary relief. - As used in this section, the term
      "monetary relief" means damages, costs, attorneys' fees, and any
      other form of monetary payment.

      (l) Other Defenses Not Affected. - The failure of a service
    provider's conduct to qualify for limitation of liability under
    this section shall not bear adversely upon the consideration of a
    defense by the service provider that the service provider's conduct
    is not infringing under this title or any other defense.
      (m) Protection of Privacy. - Nothing in this section shall be
    construed to condition the applicability of subsections (a) through
    (d) on - 
        (1) a service provider monitoring its service or affirmatively
      seeking facts indicating infringing activity, except to the
      extent consistent with a standard technical measure complying
      with the provisions of subsection (i); or
        (2) a service provider gaining access to, removing, or
      disabling access to material in cases in which such conduct is
      prohibited by law.

      (n) Construction. - Subsections (a), (b), (c), and (d) describe
    separate and distinct functions for purposes of applying this
    section. Whether a service provider qualifies for the limitation on
    liability in any one of those subsections shall be based solely on
    the criteria in that subsection, and shall not affect a
    determination of whether that service provider qualifies for the
    limitations on liability under any other such subsection.