Mobile carriers are not liable for inducing infringement of copyright on their multimedia messaging system because they did not design the system with the object of promoting infringement, nor did they take any specific, affirmative steps to actively encourage or induce infringement by users of the system, a district court ruled in a copyright infringement action brought by a producer of multimedia messaging content. The court noted that it was undisputed that the system was capable of substantial lawful and unlawful uses. The court also found that the mobile carriers were not vicariously liable for infringement occurring via the system. The content owner did not allege that the carriers were capable of monitoring or controlling content transmitted by third parties on their system, the court found, nor was there any authority for requiring the to retrofit their system in order to do so.
Luvdarts LLC v. AT&T Mobility, LLC, No. 10-05442 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 17, 2011) Opinion