Copyright Content Moderation in the EU: Conclusions and Recommendations

reCreating Europe Report (March 2022)

53 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2023

See all articles by João Pedro Quintais

João Pedro Quintais

University of Amsterdam - Institute for Information Law (IViR)

Christian Katzenbach

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

Sebastian Felix Schwemer

University of Copenhagen, Centre for Information and Innovation Law (CIIR); University of Oslo, Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law (NRCCL)

Daria Dergacheva

University of Bremen

Thomas Riis

University of Copenhagen - Faculty of Law

Péter Mezei

University of Szeged, Institute of Comparative Law and Legal Theory; Vytautas Magnus University - Faculty of Law

István Harkai

University of Szeged Faculty of Law and Political Sciences - Institute of Comparative Law and Legal Theory

Date Written: March 1, 2022

Abstract

This report is a deliverable in the reCreating Europe project. The report describes and summarizes the results of our research on the mapping of the EU legal framework and intermediaries’ practices on copyright content moderation and removal. In particular, this report summarizes the results of our previous deliverables and tasks, namely: (1) our Final Report on mapping of EU legal framework and intermediaries’ practices on copyright content moderation and removal; and (2) our Final Evaluation and Measuring Report - impact of moderation practices and technologies on access and diversity.

Our previous reports contain a detailed description of the legal and empirical methodology underpinning our research and findings. This report focuses on bringing together these findings in a concise format and advancing policy recommendations. After a brief introductory chapter, Section 2 of the report summarizes the main conclusions and findings from our mapping analysis into content moderation of copyright-protected content on online platforms in the EU. This analysis covers our conceptual framework, copyright content moderation rules at EU and national level, and our empirical research on private regulation by platforms. Regarding the latter, we studied the copyright content moderation structures adopted by 15 social media platforms over time, with a focus on their terms and conditions and automated systems.

Section 3 then summarizes the main conclusions and findings from our evaluation analysis. This includes first a legal and normative analysis on multi-level legal frameworks regulating copyright content moderation, which covers an examination of the overlaps and interplay of existing legal frameworks, the development of benchmarks for normative assessment (focusing on concept of “rough justice” and “quality” of moderation), and, with a view to future regulation in this field, a reflection on context and bias in copyright content moderation. The empirical prong of our research addresses the challenging topic of measuring the impact of moderation practices and technologies on access and diversity. To do so, we tackle three dimensions of this problem: (1) we investigate all the aggregated data on copyright moderation provided by the platforms themselves; (2) we analyse content level data of platforms with regard to changes and factors of cultural diversity on social media and streaming platforms, specifically YouTube; (3) we explore creators’ understanding and experiences of copyright moderation in relation to their creative work and the labour of media production on social media platforms

Section 4 outlines our policy recommendations for EU and national policymakers. These recommendations touch upon the following topics: the definition of “online content-sharing service provider”; the recognition and operationalisation of user rights; the complementary nature of complaint and redress safeguards; the scope of permissible preventive filtering; the clarification of the relationship between art. 17 CDSMD and the DSA, including as regards the application of fundamental rights through terms and conditions; monetisation and restrictive content moderation actions; recommender systems and copyright content moderation; transparency and data access for researchers; trade secret protection and transparency of content moderation systems; the relationship between art. 17 CDSMD, the DSA and the AI Act Proposal respectively; and human competences in copyright content moderation.

Keywords: copyright, content moderation, intermediaries, online platforms, digital single market, Digital Services Act, terms and conditions

Suggested Citation

Quintais, João Pedro and Katzenbach, Christian and Schwemer, Sebastian Felix and Dergacheva, Daria and Riis, Thomas and Mezei, Péter and Harkai, István, Copyright Content Moderation in the EU: Conclusions and Recommendations (March 1, 2022). reCreating Europe Report (March 2022), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4403423

João Pedro Quintais (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Institute for Information Law (IViR) ( email )

Rokin 84
Amsterdam, 1012 KX
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.ivir.nl/nl/medewerker/quintais/

Christian Katzenbach

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society ( email )

Bebelplatz 1 | 10099
Berlin
Germany

Sebastian Felix Schwemer

University of Copenhagen, Centre for Information and Innovation Law (CIIR) ( email )

Karen Blixens Plads 16
Copenhagen, 2300
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://jura.ku.dk/schwemer

University of Oslo, Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law (NRCCL) ( email )

Karl Johans gt. 47
Domus Academica
Oslo, Oslo 0130
Norway

Daria Dergacheva

University of Bremen ( email )

Universitaetsallee GW I
Bremen, D-28334
Germany

Thomas Riis

University of Copenhagen - Faculty of Law ( email )

Karen Blixens Plads 16
Studiestrade 6
København S, 2300
Denmark

Péter Mezei

University of Szeged, Institute of Comparative Law and Legal Theory; Vytautas Magnus University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Bocskai u. 10-12.
Szeged, H-6721
Hungary
+36-62-546-735 (Phone)

István Harkai

University of Szeged Faculty of Law and Political Sciences - Institute of Comparative Law and Legal Theory ( email )

Szeged, H-6701
Hungary

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