ALDE welcomes Commission’s proposals to manage the fight against illegal content online
The European Commission today presented a communication on tackling illegal online content which aims to clarify the current legal obligations for online service providers vis-à-vis their users and right holders. It suggests EU guidelines and principles for online platforms to step up the fight against illegal content online in cooperation with national authorities, Member States and other stakeholders in order to complement the current national notice-and-take-down procedures.
Jean-Marie Cavada, Vice President of the Legal Affairs committee and ALDE leading shadow on the copyright reform proposal, said today:
“Our current legal framework is not fit for the digital age and not all that is illegal in the offline world is equally protected from infringement in the online world. It is therefore much appreciated that the EU wants to step up its efforts to create greater legal certainty as regards a system for the detection and removal of illegal content and suspension of accounts in case of repeated infringement.”
Kaja Kallas, ALDE shadow in the opinion giving committee on the internal market and consumer protection, added:
"I support the Commission in its endeavour to tackle the issue of illegal content online. However, there is much more legal content that is taken down than we know about. Users’ fundamental rights are not fully protected, in particular the right to freedom of speech, freedom of expression and media pluralism. Thus, it is important to create harmonised rules on how to notify and how to substantiate the notification to prevent abuse."
Note to editors
The general legal framework for tackling illegal content removals is set in the e-commerce Directive from 2000 which notably provides for a liability exception for “passive” hosting platforms. However, as soon as these passive hosts get aware of illegal content on their sites, they have to immediately remove or disable access.