Thursday, May 20, 2010

Arrest Ordered in Copyright Infringement Case

Yesterday's Publishers Weekly (PW) reported:
A bench warrant has been issued for the arrest of Andrew Amue by the High Court in London after Amue failed to appear at a hearing to enforce a March 2008 order that he cease copyright infringement on hundreds of Christian books.
The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) said it first learned of Amue's infringement activities in 2004. Amue operated a website at where, according to Christian Writing Today, he posted "full texts of hundreds of copyrighted Christian theological works displayed without permission."

Amue also began charging subscription fees to access his site so that he was wrongfully benefiting from the works of others.

I've referred to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) before. The DMCA was passed by the U.S. Senate in October, 1998, and was intended to expand the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. The new law went beyond copyright protection by criminalizing creation of techology intended to circumvent rights protection.

Title II of the DMCA, "the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act ('OCILLA') creates a safe harbor for online service providers . . . against copyright liability if they adhere to and qualify for certain prescribed safe harbor guidelines and promptly block access to allegedly infringing material (or remove such material from their systems) if they receive a notification claiming infringement from a copyright holder or the copyright holder's agent." (Wikipedia)

In other words, as long as your ISP takes down material after receiving a notice that the copyright holder has not granted permission for the post, the ISP is safe from liability.

For four years, Mr. Amue ignored all requests from member publishers of the ECPA to take down the copyrighted material. Finally in 2008, a coalition of publishers obtained a court order that required Amue to cease the infringement. Mr. Amue then began a cat-and-mouse game of moving around and using false names in order to avoid service of the order. It took more than a year to locate him. His current sites are and

Recently the attorney for the coalition of publishers approached Amue to give him one last chance to cease his copyright infringement. According to Christian Writing Today, Mr. Amue said he would not comply "with laws that he implies are 'ungodly, and anti-Christian, and against the Holy Bible'.”

The coalition then requested that the High Court issue a bench warrant ordering Mr. Amue's arrest.

Go here to read the entire article in Christian Writing Today.

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