Accountable, not liable: injunctions against intermediaries

Martin Husovec (Tilburg Law School), “Accountable, not liable: injunctions against intermediaries”

In Europe, even law abiding Internet intermediaries can be sued in private lawsuits by intellectual property right holders in order to provide them with some 'extra assistance' in enforcement of their rights. The law increasingly forces intermediaries to work for the right owners by making them accountable even if they are not (tortiously) liable for actions of their users. Thus even intermediaries who diligently deal with illegitimate content on their services can be still subject to a forced cooperation to a benefit of right holders, such as website-blocking or subscriber-disconnections. This paper explores how this novel entitlement of right holders, which is being gradually exported also outside of the EU, impacts traditional allocation of liability under tort-law and future innovation. In studying the entitlement, it relies on traditional law and economics framework of tort law and transactions.