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ECJ Renders Audio/Video Sharing Copyright Ruling


July 7, 2021

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The European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) recently exempted YouTube from liability for uploads of copyright-protected music or videos, but carved out an important exception: if audio/video sharing sites like YouTube and Facebook have “specific knowledge” that copyrighted content has been illegally uploaded to their platforms, and refrain from “expeditiously deleting it or blocking access to it”, they could be held liable for copyright infringement.


The ECJ’s ruling, which was limited to the E.U.’s old copyright rules, comes in the wake of new E.U. copyright law, which provides that an online platform can be prosecuted for making copyright-infringing content available to the public, even if its users have uploaded it, unless it actively takes steps to filter content and promptly remove the copyrighted works.

Authors: Nisheet Karthikeyan and Larissa Fulop

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