In a surprising decision that seems destined for alteration on appeal, a California District Court in Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corp. , 77 F. Supp. 2d 1116 (C.D. Calif. 1999) has addressed fair use of copyrighted material on the Internet and, in so doing, may be giving the fair use doctrine a broad new scope.

Two important issues were addressed for the first time in this case: whether the display of copyrighted images on the Internet by a search engine is within the scope of fair use under the Copyright Act and whether the display of copyrighted photographic images on the Internet without attribution of the photographer is a violation of newly-created restrictions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) regarding “copyright management information.”

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