Minden Pictures, a wildlife image licensing agency, says that Society19 placed a copy of a Gerry Ellis photograph, for which Minden is the exclusive licensee, on its website without Minden’s permission. Minden is a frequent complainant in this district and other districts, having filed more than 130 copyright infringement cases since 2009. Society19 has been named as a defendant in three other such cases in Massachusetts just this year. Society19 filed has raised a defense based on the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act, which shields on-line service providers from liability for infringing content posted by users of their services. Its site solicits people to write articles, and appears to register writers in a fashion similar to a blog site. It seems that liability will likely hinge on whether Society19 employs writers and bloggers and is thus responsible for the content on its site or whether it is a forum on which independent writers post their own content.
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