What is vicarious infringement?
Vicarious infringement is one of the two types of indirect copyright infringement (contributory infringement is the other type of indirect infringement). Vicarious infringement occurs where someone has a direct financial interest in the infringing actions being committed by another and has the ability to control it, even if they do not know that the infringement is taking place and do not directly take part in it.
One of the classic examples of vicarious infringement is where someone owns a swap meet, and somebody at the swap meet is selling infringing materials. The owner of the swap meet is liable for vicarious infringement because he receives a direct financial benefit and has the ability to see what is going on at the swap meet and prevent the seller from selling the infringing materials (by kicking him out).