AG: Youtube is not directly liable for the illegal uploading of protected works by users

Print this page 31-07-2020
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Copyright - According to Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe, online platfors like Youtube are - as EU law currently stands - not directly liable for the illegal uploading of protected works by the users of those platforms.

 

As you may know, Directive 2019/790 introduces a new liability regime specific to works illegally uploaded by the users of online platform operators. However, that directive is not yet applicable to the cases at hand, regarding illegal uploads on Youtube and Uploaded.

 

In his Opinion, the Advocate General proposes that the Court rule the operators are not directly liable for an infringement of the exclusive right of authors, as recognised under Directive 2001/29 to communicate their work to the public, when users of those operators’ platforms illegally upload protected works.

 

According to the AG, the platform operators do not, in principle, carry out an act of ‘communication to the public’ themselves in such a case. The role played by those operators is, in principle, that of an intermediary providing physical facilities which enable users to carry out a ‘communication to the public’. Any ‘primary’ liability arising from that ‘communication’ is therefore borne, as a rule, solely by those users. 

 

Read the full opinion here: C-682/18 - ECLI:EU:C:2020:586