Copyrights, Internet: YouTube Decision May Obligate Content Check on Upload

On June 6, 2018, the Commercial Court of Vienna decided in favor of private broadcaster Puls4 and determined that YouTube qualified as directly liable for copyright infringing video uploads of its users. If maintained, the decision would obligate YouTube (and indirectly other major online platforms) to perform a content check upon upload instead of only removing copyright infringing content upon notification (“notice-and-takedown”). Austrian case law is not binding for other EU member states, but the Commercial Court’s judgment denying YouTube the application of the Host Provider Privilege under EU law might still encourage similar decisions based on the same line of argument.

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