“Content is King!” – the truth of that slogan is steadily proving itself. Initially, the focus in the Internet was on developing its technical infrastructure, but now, the significance of its actual content is gaining ground. This applies both to the exploitation of conventional works through the Internet – such as photos, music and videos – and to “user-generated content” on Web 2.0. It is also reflected in the huge number of cases ending up in court that involve copyright infringement in the Internet, or publication on the Web of facts and opinions that are restricted by law.
The ease with which research can be done in the Internet means that infringements of rights rarely go undetected. Therefore, to ensure that anything you post on the Internet complies with statutory regulations, it is essential that you verify beforehand whether providing that particular content is in fact permissible. We can give you advice on rights clearance and on obtaining a content license where necessary, including how to comply with open content licenses and other usage models.
Technical innovations are constantly creating new ways of using content: Online video recorders, Internet image searches and Web-based assessment platforms are just a few examples. Frequently it takes a legal analysis to determine whether new business models along these lines are feasible. We can advise you on the legal scope that is available under copyright law, data protection regulations and legislation on freedom of expression.
Liability for External Content
While your own content can be checked beforehand to make sure it is on sound legal footing, Web 2.0 platforms are generally based on external content that can be posted without review. In this whole new area, courts of law have developed case histories of contradictory rulings, making life difficult for many operators of platforms with user-generated content. Currently, the accountability of an operator depends on numerous factors, making it hard to make any universally valid assessment. With our wide range of experience in liability cases and by assisting with negotiations, we can help you to defend your content against unjustified claims. And if any claims filed against you do prove to be legitimate, we can advise you on whether the ruling on costs is fair and on the legal possibilities for taking further action.