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IP & Regulatory Law Blog Reflections of a former regulator on FTC and IP issues

The Everyone Is Doing It Defense: A Game Of Russian Roulette

Posted in Copyrights

We hear it all of the time.  How is this illegal if everyone is doing it?  As I tell my children, the “everyone else is doing it” defense rarely works.  Sure, it eventually worked out for those of us old enough to remember the Betamax  home videocassette recorder battle in which consumers came out on top. However, more recent scenarios have not worked out as well for the consumer. Those who illegally downloaded movies or songs can attest to this. Now, comes Pinterest.  Copyright infringement or fair use?  While the company seems to be taking steps to address its own liability, it remains to be seen what will happen to its users.  Read a recent discussion of this issue.  Investigate the issue for yourself and don’t rely on others’ use as your sole defense should you face a claim of copyright infringement.