• European Courts and Content providers

    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>Further to our previous articles about Internet ant its famous tools (eBay, Google), we are continuing on our debriefing about content providers.

    <o:p> </o:p>In late June, the President of the High court of Paris found, in a summary judgment dated 22, that MySpace (famous networking website) is liable for infringing videos of the so called French comedian Jean-Yves Lafesse, the "Buttock".

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    The main legal point is about the real acts of the website: is it a hosting provider or a publisher?

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    In fact, the high court of first instance of Paris's decision dated July 13th 2007, ruled Dailymotion was not a publisher but only a hosting provider because the users provide themselves the contents on the website.
    Nevertheless, regarding the French act of 2004 for the confidence in digital environment, the judgment pointed out the fact that the site was not under the obligation to seek facts of copyrights infringements on the site and so can not be held liable for infringement, except if it was aware of the presence of illegal contents on its website (provision 6-I-2 French Act coming from Directive 2000/31/EC of June 8th 2000).

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    Thus, in Buttock's case, the Court considered MySpace was not only a host of the infringing videos, but also a publisher due to the structures, control over the posting and broadcasting, and money sums of advertising displayed.

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    The Court ruled MySpace shall notably pay 50 000 euros for commercial prejudice, and ordered to delete illegal pages.

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    The French Humorist doesn't stop there and has also sued Youtube and Dailymotion (respectively for 8 millions and 1,5 millions Euros business prejudice).

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    These decisions, coupled with recent rulings in Germany and Belgium in Europe and regarding US Digital Millenium Copyright Act in USA, seems to indicate that Internet companies providing contents or services will face legal issues relative to content posted on their sites.
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    Romain Busnel – IP lawyer

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