Copyright Infringement

Copyright is an exclusive and assignable legal right awarded to the originator of a literary, scientific or artistic work for a fixed number of years. In North America, the system works based on registrations; authors must register a copyrighted work with the U.S. Library of Congress to claim protection; permission for others to re-use or cite the work is granted based on "fair use" – a definition left deliberately open and subject to interpretation by courts. In the European Union, copyright protection is granted automatically to a content creator from the moment a work is produced. No registration is necessary; subsequent use or re-use of the work in digital or online formats is legal under concrete exceptions – such as news reporting, parody and private non-commercial use. These exceptions are spelled out in the information society directive (2001) and the copyright in the digital single market directive (2019).

In the meantime, the Internet has emerged as a dazzling medium for storing, transmitting and distributing creative content, helping people reach larger and larger audiences without needing publishers to intermediate. Last year, the European Union set out to modernise the copyright framework. The legislation that emerged from the complex multi-government negotiation has two crucial elements: 1) it makes platforms liable for the permanent removal of content that has been notified (potentially requiring uploading filters to be put in place), and 2) it creates an entirely new intellectual-property right – the so-called "ancilliary" or "neighboring" right – which extends copyright-like protections to headlines and other snippets commonly used in search engines. The legislation builds on the European Union’s electronic commerce directive (2000), which stipulated that online platforms were not liable for the content they managed if 1) the platform played a "passive" role, and 2) the platform acted to remove or disable content as soon as moderators learned the content was illegal.

Debates about the fairness and effectiveness of copyright law as written have broken out against a steady flow of charge and counter-charge, with many assumptions about the nature of the new mass-media market for content coming into question. Were the original producers of content being harmed by mass distribution? Was the production of first-rate content being disincentivized? Were consumers being encouraged to pirate and steal? Or were they simply being given unprecedented access to a vast cornucopia of cultural offerings and opportunities to create themselves through mixing, remixing and sharing?

Below you can find evidence from major studies on copyright, copyright infringement and other areas related to the intermediary liability debate. Please contribute with more evidence if you identify any important sources that should be included.

Additional content on the state of copyright law worldwide is available on the World Intermediary Liability Map (WILMap), led by the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School.

Records 1 - 10 of 43

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Access to Pirated Content in European Union by Content Type and Device (2018)

This graph shows the distribution of online infringement in European Union across the three content types and the desktop/mobile dimension for the nine months of 2018 covered by the data. Television copyright infringement represented nearly 60% of the total, followed by film and music piracy. The use of desktop devices to access television content and films is greater than that of mobile devices, while access to music is greater from mobile devices. European Union refers to EU28. The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020.
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Applications for the Labelling of the Legal Offers Sent to the High Authority for the Dissemination of Works and the Protection of Rights on the Internet (HADOPI) Through Labelling or Indexing

HADOPI has drawn up a catalogue of indexed offers that do not infringe intellectual property rights. It reports this on the portal. This is a tool available to users to search for platforms based on their access (streaming/download) or consumption (pay-per-view/subscription) preferences. As of 30 September 2017, HADOPI has 427 cultural sites and services indexed on
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Breakdown of Titles Posted by Contributor Account On a Pirate Site

This chart illustrates the unequal contributions of accounts to a piracy website studied by HADOPI (Haute Autorité Française pour la Diffusion des Oeuvres et la Protection des droits sur Internet). Only 14 contributors accounted for 90% of the content uploaded, showing that much of the illegal activity on the site was concentrated in a specific group of users.
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Consumed Recorded Music From Any Illegal Channel (2017)

The chart shows the per cent of respondents who use the internet who reported consuming recorded music from any illegal channel during the last year, along with the per cent of all respondents who reported doing so. The chart reveals that music consumption from illegal channels is most popular in Spain, where 35% of the total population engaged in such activity in 2017. The abbreviation "pop." stands for "population." European Union refers to EU28. The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020.
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Consumption of Music Per Type of Illegal Channel (Per Capita, Internet Population)

This table provides details about the number of albums and hours of listening via illegal means that respondents reported per capita (for the internet-using population) among several countries. Respondents from Spain reported illegally downloading significantly more albums than respondents from other countries.
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Digital Revenue

The chart shows that contrary to some popular beliefs, the Internet does not appear to have undone collecting societies. In 2018, digital income is the leading force behind the growth of music collections, accounting for 19.1% of the total. Digital income rose by 15% over the last year and 185% since 2014.
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Estimated Displacement of First Legal Views by First Illegal View per Country

The chart shows the estimated displacement of first legal views by first illegal views per country. Based on this graph, illegal views displace legal ones the most in the United Kingdom among the countries studied, and least in the Netherlands.
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Evolution of the Sources of Copyright Infringement Before and After Haute Autorité Française pour la Diffusion des Oeuvres et la Protection des Droits sur Internet

The chart shows the prevalence of copyright infringement through peer to peer filesharing and other platforms before and after establishment of Haute Autorité Française pour la Diffusion des Oeuvres et la Protection des Droits sur Internet (HADOPI). Although peer to peer file sharing decreased by 15%, overall copyright infringement increased by 3%.
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Evolution of the Total Number of Professional Monitoring Cases of Copyright Infringement (2013- 2017)

This graph shows how the number of professional monitoring cases has changed between 2013 and 2017, based on data from HADOPI (Haute Autorité Française pour la Diffusion des Oeuvres et la Protection des Droits sur Internet). The number of cases has increased consistently between 2013 and 2017.
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Frequency of Using File sharing Services to Upload or Download Documents, Videos, Images or Music (by Country)

The graph shows the frequence of respondents in using file sharing services to upload or download content. Respondents in Bulgaria were the most likely to report having use these services at least once, while respondents in Germant were least likely to do so. The respondents were asked the following question: "How often do you do the following? Use file sharing services to upload or download documents, videos, images or music". European Union refers to EU28. The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020.