Intermediaries Precarious Balance within Europe: Oddly Placed Cooperative Burdens in the Online World
Nw. J. Tech. & Intell. Prop. XX (Dec. 2012, Forthcoming)
Posted: 10 Jul 2012 Last revised: 14 May 2014
Date Written: July 10, 2012
The Newzbin cases mark a clear shift in the responsibility that European based entities must take in relation to the protections of intellectual property rights. Previously the burden of protecting intellectual property rights was placed primarily on the rights holder. Today however, legislative bodies and courts in both the European Union and the United States have shifted this expectation of protections to a shared burden amongst the service providers and the rights holders. The SABAM case begins to outline and define the full parameters of the burden that must be undertaken by the service providers in these situations within the European Union. However, numerous issues exist and to date few reasonable responses have been advanced that assist the service providers in living up to this shared burden without being subjected to liability. The law remains fragmented, with potential minefields abounding for service provider liability, this despite the fact that service providers often work hard to comply with the law. In relation to service providers and their exposure to liability, something must change. This can only be done through the expectations of a shared burden among the entire online community. Placing a burden upon the service providers will not benefit anyone and will certainly lead to consequences for the entire online community.
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