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Advertising networks can be found liable for contributing to copyright infringement on websites if they facilitate that infringement, a US court has suggested. It ruled that the ad network in question was not liable, but suggested that others could be in other situations.
A district court judge in Massachusetts said that ad networks that have knowledge of infringing activity and provide an "essential" service that helps website operators enable that infringement on a "massive scale" can be found liable for that infringement if they are "intimately and causally involved in a vast number of infringing transactions".
The suggestion means that courts in the US could in the future treat ad networks differently to other commercial operators connected to infringing sites, a technology law expert said.