Online service provider

An online service provider (OSP) can, for example, be an Internet service provider, an email provider, a news provider (press), an entertainment provider (music, movies), a search engine, an e-commerce site, an online banking site, a health site, an official government site, social media, a wiki, or a Usenet newsgroup.[clarification needed] In its original more limited definition, it referred only to a commercial computer communication service in which paid members could dial via a computer modem the service's private computer network and access various services and information resources such as bulletin board systems, downloadable files and programs, news articles, chat rooms, and electronic mail services. The term "online service" was also used in references to these dial-up services. The traditional dial-up online service differed from the modern Internet service provider in that they provided a large degree of content that was only accessible by those who subscribed to the online service, while ISP mostly serves to provide access to the Internet and generally provides little if any exclusive content of its own. In the U.S., the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (OCILLA) portion of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act has expanded the legal definition of online service in two different ways for different portions of the law. It states in section 512(k)(1):

(A) As used in subsection (a), the term "service provider" means an entity offering the transmission, routing, or providing of connections for digital online communications, between or among points specified by a user, of material of the user’s choosing, without modification to the content of the material as sent or received.
(B) As used in this section, other than subsection (a), the term "service provider" means a provider of online services or network access, or the operator of facilities therefore, and includes an entity described in subparagraph (A).[1]

These broad definitions make it possible for numerous web businesses to benefit from the OCILLA.


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