EuropeLiability for internet host providers in the European Union: time for a reform?

While drafting the EU E-commerce Directive (2000/31/EC), the European Commission considered that one of the key elements for developing electronic commerce in Europe was the issue of service provider liability. For this reason the commission considered that the liability regime should be harmonised throughout the European Union. Therefore, Article 14(1) of this directive created a ‘safe haven’ regime under which providers of hosting, caching and mere conduit services cannot be held liable under certain conditions. Further, the directive clearly states that the providers of these services cannot be subject to any general monitoring obligation.

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