Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)


This dissertation is motivated by two questions: How does the emergence of cloud-computing technology impact major countries’ copyright law regarding the issue of intermediaries’ direct liability? What should Chinese legislature body learn from those countries regarding this issue? Answering the first question lays a foundation for answering the second question.

Usually, a cloud-computing intermediary’s specific activity may possess risk of violating a copyright holder’s right of reproduction, right of communication to the public and right of distribution. Comparatively, that intermediary can raise defenses under the exhaustion doctrine and the fair use doctrine. Analysis on these two topics consists of two parts. The first part examines copyright law in major countries or regional organizations such as the U.S., Japan or the European Union. The second part is an analysis of current related Chinese legislation and a proposal for China. This dissertation examines relevant international copyright treaties, major countries’ related legislature documents and related cases.

This dissertation offers a thorough legal analysis how cloud-computing technology affects copyright worldwide. The proposal at the end consists of two parts. The first part provides four general legislature advices for China. The second part focuses on how China’s legislature should adjust copyright owner’s exclusive rights and intermediaries’ defense theories to react the impact brought by the cloud-computing technology.