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 21 - 30 of 43

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Perceptions on How Internet Hosting Services Should Deal with Illegal Content Uploaded or Posted by Their Users

This segmented bar graph shows that the majority of respondents believe that hosting services should immediately remove content flagged as illegal by law enforcement authorities, process all notifications they receive, remove content flagged as illegal by organisations with proven expertise on the topic, and give users the ability to appeal removal decisions. The results are based on the answers to the question "Do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?"
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Primary Reason for Downloading Music From Illegal Sources

The chart illustrates the distribution of the respondents' primary reasons for downloading music from illegal sources. The most common answer by far was the price.
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Primary Reason for Streaming Music From Illegal Sources

The chart illustrates the distribution of the respondents' primary reasons for streaming music from illegal sources. The most common answer by far was the price.
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Recorded Music, Wholesale Value (2012-2018)

The chart presents the evolution of the music industry revenue, based on the report of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), an industry group of major record labels. The results show that revenues measured at wholesale value grew 12% compared to 2017, reaching to $6.6 billion in 2018. The report considers that the main drivers for the growth of record labels’ revenue are streaming music platforms.
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Reporting Organisations or Copyright Owners Who Have Submitted or Been Cited in the Most Requests

The chart shows the reporting organisations or copyright owners who have submitted or been cited in the most requests. The date of the extraction of the current values from the live chart of Google is 13 June 2022.
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Satisfaction with How the Internet Hosting Services Handled a Notification

This pie chart shows that the majority of respondents who encountered illegal content online and informed the internet service hosting the content were satisfied with how the internet hosting service handled their notification. European Union refers to EU28. The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020.
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Second Notices Sent Since 2010

This column chart shows the cumulative number of second notices sent by Haute Autorité Française pour la Diffusion des Oeuvres et la Protection des droits sur Internet (HADOPI) from 2010 to 2017. HADOPI sent the most notices between July 2011 and June 2012 and between July 2013 and June 2014. The second notice refers to a graduated two-step response implemented by HADOPI to remind internet subscribers of their responsibility regarding their Internet connection which should not be used to make works protected by copyright (or related rights) available for piracy.
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Seizures of Counterfeit And Pirated Goods: Top Economies of Origin of Right Holders Whose Intellectual Property Rights Were Infringed

This chart looks at economies in which the right holders whose intellectual property rights are infringed are located (2014-2016). Location refers to the place where the headquarters of a right holder is registered. Almost 24% of the total value of seized products refers to intellectual property rights of holders registered in the United States, followed by France (16.6%), Italy (15.1%), Switzerland (11.2%) and Germany (9.3%). The data are presented with approximation. For more details please visit the source.
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Share of Individuals Who Have Streamed or Downloaded Films or Television Series From Potential Illegal Websites in Denmark, by Frequency (2016)

The chart displays the share of individuals who have streamed or downloaded films or TV series from potential illegal websites in Denmark, based on a survey carried out in 2016. A significant number of individuals reported that they regularly stream films or television series from potentially illegal websites, with fewer people reporting that they regularly download films or television series from potentially illegal websites.
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Sites and Services Used by United Kingdom Respondents to Access Music Online

The chart shows the results of a 2018 survey in the United Kingdom concerning the online music services and sites used by music copyright infringers. YouTube was by far the most popular way for respondents to stream, access, or share music tracks or albums. Several pirating websites, including Pirate Bay, were mentioned by more than 1% of respondents.