Jun 25, 2021

Streaming platforms not made to walk the plank

This week the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) issued a heavily anticipated judgment which clarifies if online streaming platforms will be held liable for pirated content that has been uploaded by its users. In summary, the CJEU held that platforms such as YouTube will not be held directly liable for users who upload piracy content under EU law, but this is subject to whether it is aware of the content/infringements.

There is approximately 720,000 hours of new content uploaded to YouTube each day. Some of this content will infringe intellectual property rights. Authors of copyright often hold the platforms accountable for the infringements of its users. For example, two cases were brought in Germany, one of which was brought by music producer, Frank Peterson against YouTube and Google for making his music available on its platforms without permission. The German Court considered the judgment handed down by the CJEU and took the same approach.

In its judgment, the CJEU concluded that online platforms may take advantage of a liability exemption, provided that it does not play an active role whereby it is not aware or in control of any specific infringing activities. The CJEU also added that EU law does not prevent national courts from imposing injunctions, and so they will still be available against service operators who are unaware of infringing activities. A platform may face an injunction if it does not act against infringing content which it has been notified of.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com. Further, please reserve your place at the upcoming webinar focusing on the online challenges with social media platforms and your intellectual property hosted by Dids MacDonald of Anti-Copying in Design and our Kelly Hudson. You can reserve your place at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_3BHU-T6hR-yHJFHg6AmV7Q.

Posted by: Tom Staveley in: Copyright, EU/International, Legal News

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