Can company be held liable if an employee redistributes an electronic subscription within or outside of the company, in violation of your subscription agreement?

Yes. A federal court in Maryland so held in a case in which an employee posted a subscription e-mail report to a company intranet. The employer had paid for a single e-mail subscription, and the subscription agreement restricted further distribution. The court found the employer liable for copyright infringement. The case is Lowry’s Reports, Inc. v. Legg Mason, Inc.

Can you defend the copyright infringement claim if you merely e-mail an electronic publication to a co-worker who does not download it, but only reads it in random-access memory and then deletes it?

No, you can be held liable under these circumstances. Several courts have held that such “ephemeral” copies are sufficient to trigger copyright infringement.

See also…

Intellectual Property and Internet Law