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A US court has rejected an appeal from the owner of sandybeachgifts.com, Sandy Routt, who claimed that online retailer Amazon is responsible for copyright infringement by its affiliate websites.
Routt claimed that some of the participating sites in the Amazon Associates programme, an arrangement between certain websites and the online retailer where they advertise Amazon products in return for fees for marketing, used photographs taken by her on their sites without permission.
Routt, who operates a retail website herself, claimed Amazon was liable because the retailer has an agreement with the affiliate sites to monitor and supervise their sites for any infringing content.
But Judge James Robart at the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on August 29 that Amazon is not liable for damages.
“Amazon lacks the ability to supervise the associates’ infringing websites. Moreover, Amazon’s operating agreement with its associates expressly disclaims the existence of any actual partnership and states that neither party shall have the ability to make or accept any offers or representations on the other’s behalf, he said.”
“Routt has not alleged any facts that would establish an apparent partnership or demonstrate that the infringing associates had apparent authority to bind Amazon,” he added.
Amazon did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Amazon; copyright infringement; Amazon Associates; Sandy Routt; sandybeachgifts.com