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Cracks in the Safe Harbor: Digital Copyright at Home and Abroad

Copyrights are granted globally and digital content on platforms is distributed globally. Therefore, publishers and digital platforms must consider a global approach to content management and copyright. In the U.S., the notice and takedown provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act give platforms breathing room to avoid liability for the distribution of user generated content – though an array of new case law adds complexity to DMCA safe harbor compliance. See, e.g., BMG v. Cox, Mavrix Photographs, Vimeo, Lenz, & Grooveshark. European copyright law, on the other hand, increasingly appears to protect publishers and other rightsholders from digital platforms, which may be viewed as a threat. Recent CJEU decisions, GS Media v. Sanoma Media and Filmspeler, create uncertainty at the least, and could create, in certain circumstances, copyright liability for mere linking to infringing materials. Similarly, at both the national and EU level, copyright reforms are being
proposed and adopted that create new rights for publishers and burdens for digital platforms.

Benjamin Glatstein, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft (Moderator)
Caleb Donaldson, Copyright Counsel, Google Inc.
Joseph C. Gratz, Partner, Durie Tangri LLP
Lisa Peets, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP