Earlier this year we outlined the proposals made by the European Commission regarding online intermediaries and their role in tackling illegal content on the internet (see the full client alert). If the Commission implements its proposals, this might result in the removal of the ‘hosting defence’ and the imposition of more onerous responsibilities on internet service providers and other intermediaries (such as social media platforms).

The Commission’s consultation on this issue is now open and the closing date for submissions is 30 December 20151. The outcome of the consultation could have a major impact on the digital economy. It will affect all those who are involved in exploiting content online, including internet service providers, webhosts, IP owners, social media platforms and other online publishers. If you want to make sure your voice is heard, you can respond to the consultation by completing the online questionnaire.

The consultation document covers a range of other related issues (including the regulatory environment for platforms, data and cloud computing and the collaborative economy), but the questions focusing on the liability of online intermediaries can be found at pages 17-23.