NINTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS: LIABILITY OF CREDIT CARD COMPANIES FOR PROCESSING CHARGES MADE BY PURCHASERS OF PIRATED IMAGES

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that credit card companies given actual notice that specific websites were selling pirated images could not be held secondarily or vicariously liable for copyright or trademark infringement based on their act of continuing to process charges made by purchasers of the pirated images.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

Can other third parties be found to be contributorily liable for copyright infringement?
What distinguishes credit card companies from search engines who were found liable for infringement in recent Ninth Circuit cases?
Why didn’t the Ninth Circuit impose vicarious liability on the credit card companies?

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