The Direct Liability of Online Intermediaries for IPR Infringements – Article from #1 2020

One of the most interesting and relevant developments in respect of online intermediaries concerns the emerging possibility – especially in the copyright field – to go beyond the traditional approach to their liability based on the safe harbour legislation and, with that, the system of secondary/accessory legislation and root, instead, their liability within a primary/direct liability regime, also in relation to user activities and user-uploaded content. This contribution explains how the Court of Justice of the European Union has come to consider the possibility of direct liability of online intermediaries in relation to user activities and undertakes a reflection on the implications of said approach, also with regard to its application to less egregious scenarios than piracy-focused platforms and other IP rights (notably: trade marks).