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Liability for Copyright Infringements on the Internet: Host Providers (Content Providers) - The Geman Approach

Author(s): Jan Bernd Nordemann

Journal: JIPITEC : Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology and E-Commerce Law
ISSN 2190-3387

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 37;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: E-Commerce Directive | Liability | Host Provider | Copyright | User Generated Content | Duty of Care | Störerhaftung | Telemediengesetz

Copyright infringements on the Internet affect all types of media which can be used online: films, computer games, audio books, music, software, etc. For example, according to German studies, 90% of all copyright violations affecting film works take place on the Internet. This storage space is made available to such infringers, as well as to others whose intentions are legal, by hosting providers. To what extent do hosting providers have a duty of care for their contribution to the copyright infringements of third parties, i.e. their users? What duties of care can be reasonably expected of hosting providers to prevent such infringements? These questions have been heavily debated in Germany, and German courts have developed extensive case law. This article seeks to examine these questions by assessing German jurisprudence against its EU law background.

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