No safe harbour: Online platforms face choppy waters when it comes to copyright infringement

The liability of internet intermediaries for copyright infringement is a hot topic of conversation at the moment, both in Australia and overseas. Sweeping reforms have just been passed by the EU Parliament, and Australian copyright legislation in this area has been the subject of significant judicial consideration in recent years. In this article, we consider the outcome of two recent copyright infringement cases brought against the Australian online marketplace Redbubble, which may help (somewhat) clarify the extent to which such platforms are likely to be held liable for the actions of their users, what this liability means in practice, and how they can operate to minimise these risks. Whose infringement is it anyway? Currently, online content platforms in Australia can be held liable for copyright infringement in user-generated content in a number of ways. These include: direct infringement, for example, if the platform is “reproducing” infringing content or…

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