Liability of Online Service Providers After the Latest Changes in EU Law: Paradigm Change of Liability?
15 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2020
Date Written: June 11, 2020
Since the 5th of March 2019, the European Union is facing a new directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. The new Directive EU 2019/790 comes with significant changes in terms of European copyright law. Especially the new rules governing the liability of internet service providers (ISPs) are in the scope of the new directive. Article 17 of the directive, governing the newly created scheme of liability and licencing, could mean a paradigm change in copyright law. Rightsholders shall get a stronger position in terms of participation for the profits gained by ISPs using their copyrighted content. This new directive brings up many questions about the liability of ISPs, as many aspects are left unclear. Even though the new directive clearly forbids the use of any monitoring technology, ISPs have to take every effort to block copyright-infringing materials uploaded by the users. Still, ISPs did not get a hint of any possible alternatives to the so-called “upload-filters”. This new scheme of liability for ISPs means much stricter regulations, as now ISPs are liable for the deeds of their users as well. The new directive is strongly discussed and criticised by scholars, ISPs and especially by the public. It is feared that there is no alternative for the upload filter, which could lead to a deep cut into the freedom of speech.
Keywords: Intellectual property law, liability of internet service providers, digital economy, upload filter, freedom of speech
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