Title: Conceptualising the rights and responsibilities of internet intermediaries in relation to user-generated content: an analysis of European Union law

Authors: Catherine Easton

Addresses: Lancaster University Law School, Bowland North, Bailrigg, Lancaster, UK

Abstract: In an age of increasing media convergence, the issue of intermediary liability for user-generated content is an area of growing legal and ethical concern. The European Union's key liability limiting principles in relation to intermediaries are found in the European E-Commerce Directive and cover not only those providing the means of online transmission but also content supporting platforms, such as social networking websites and mobile content providers. The European Commission's proposed Data Protection Regulation includes the continuation of self-certified safe harbour status in relation to EU/US data transfers. Its potential impact upon the liability of a platform provider in relation to a third party's infringing use of data is as yet unclear. This article's overarching aim is to conceptualise the role of the intermediary and analyse whether the European Union's initial framing of liability principles has survived the pace of technological change and increasing media convergence.

Keywords: intermediary liability; internet intermediaries; European Union; data protection; media convergence; intellectual property; rights; responsibilities; user-generated content; EU law; platforms; social networking sites; mobile content providers; self-certified safe harbour status.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTPL.2013.057010

International Journal of Technology Policy and Law, 2013 Vol.1 No.3, pp.283 - 296

Published online: 19 Jul 2014 *

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