Online Platforms and Intermediaries in Copyright Law
23-24 March 2017
Ludwig Maximilian University Munich
Intermediaries play an essential role in internet communication. They allow us to access the net, to exchange information and to enjoy entertainment. But at the same time their services are used by infringers. This raises the issue of liability, particularly in copyright law. The EU law framework dates back to the late 1990es, when modern types of intermediaries were still unknown. The line between liability for primary infringement and the liability of intermediaries is difficult to draw. Injunctions against intermediaries whose services are used by infringers must be available, but EU law leaves the conditions of such relief to the Member States. Arts 12-15 of the E-Commerce Directive provide safe havens, which are, however, of limited and uncertain scope. In this normative vacuum, the CJEU has become the engine of harmonisation, creating rules and principles of liability step by step and by trial and error. The Commission has proposed new, but very cautious regulation concerning copyright in the Digital Single Market.
Against this background, this conference will focus on the economic, EU law, constitutional and competition law framework, take stock of the present law, compare different national approaches in the EU, the US and Asia and consider potential ways forward.