Sunday, October 11, 2009

ISPs’ liability in Germany

Since 1st August 1997, Germany had already listed out the liability of the Internet Service Providers’ regulation. This regulation is laid down in the Teleservices Act and the Interstate Media Services Treaty. This Act provides different functions of ISPs and the services that an ISP could perform. Based on the Act, ISPs are liable for their own infringed contents according to the prevailing rules. However, for the case of infringement of content made by their users, they will only be liable if they have the knowledge about the infringed contents and if they technically able to prevent its use on the Internet. ISPs are also not liable for the third-party contents to which in this case they only provide access to the Internet.

A lawsuit which has been reported in Germany about the infringed contents was on 30th March 2000 whereby a Munich court convicted America On Line (AOL) to pay damages to the owner of copyrights in MIDI music-files. AOL had offered a ‘music soundforum’ to its subscribers that enable them to upload and download music files from the forum. AOL could not avail itself of the defence offered by the Teleservices Act because AOL possessed knowledge of the infringement and could easily stopped it.

sources: netlaw

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