The liability of Internet Intermediaries in Europe remains one of the most difficult subjects in information law. Especially when open platforms thrive on User Generated Content, the responsibility for illegal activities and content is often difficult to allocate. The same counts increasingly for media agencies and news and whistleblower sites such as Wikileaks that cooperate with or provide a platform for amateur journalists. The role of the producer and the consumer, the hoster and the user and the journalist and the reader are increasingly merging.
This book provides a critical analysis of how digitisation affects established concepts and policies in consumer law. Based on evidence of the actual experience and problems encountered by consumers in digital markets, the book offers a ground-breaking study of the main issues arising in relation to the application of general consumer and sector-specific law. An interdisciplinary team of researchers from the Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL) and the Institute for Information Law (IViR), both University of Amsterdam, combine their expertise in general consumer and contract law, telecommunications law, media law, copyright law and privacy law in a joint effort to point the way to a truly cohesive European Framework for Digital Consumers and the Law. Digital Consumers and the Law is an important analysis for all those interested or involved in the regulation of digital content markets. With its comprehensive discussion of a wide range of fundamental as well as praxis-oriented questions, it is an essential read for academics, policy makers, members of the content industry as well as consumer representatives.
Buy the book here
Report for the LIDC Congress
This chapter assesses on what grounds internet intermediaries can be held liable for infringing intellectual property, unfair competition and related laws in the Netherlands. The conclusion will be that the main ground is the breach of the obligation to respect the duty of care under the general tort law. In order to reach this conclusion, first, the main sources for obligations imposed on internet intermediaries
Secondly, a general typology of different internet intermediaries and their status under the Dutch legal system is presented. Thirdly, an outline is given of the main obligations. Finally, the main indications and contraindications for the existence of a duty of a care and liability for negligence of this duty are presented.
Download the report here.
This article analyzes the liability of hosting providers in Europe.
In Europe, roughly three regimes apply to the liability of Internet intermediaries for privacy violations conducted by users through their network. These are: the e-Commerce Directive, which, under certain conditions, excludes them from liability; the General Data Protection Regulation, which imposes a number of duties and responsibilities on providers processing personal data; and the freedom of expression, contained inter alia in the European Convention on Human Rights, which, under certain conditions, grants Internet providers several privileges and freedoms.
Each doctrine has its own field of application, but they also have partial overlap. In practice, this creates legal inequality and uncertainty, especially with regard to providers that host online platforms and process User Generated Content.
Download the article here.
Report about the use of User Generated Content by News Agencies in the Netherlands.
The perception of UGC by news journalists and its status in the newsroom is ambiguous. According to a study by Pantti and Bakker some news organizations consider UGC to be an enrichment for professional journalism. It enhances and corrects the content produced by professional journalists and, importantly, it can provide content from a newsworthy event where no professional journalists were present or – when they were present – were not able to create the content themselves. This is an interesting proposition for news media, especially for those who, indeed, have to do ‘more with less’. Furthermore UGC is considered to strengthen the relationship between news organizations and their audiences.
Download the report here.