French ruling against video-sharing platform DailyMotion

By EDRi · July 18, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

On 13 July 2007, a French court has ruled against the French company
DailyMotion, second world leader of video-sharing platforms after YouTube,
in a counterfeit case. The legal action was initiated by the director, the
producer, and the distributor of a movie put on-line by a user of the
DailyMotion platform. The court decision is entirely based on the French law
on the digital economy (LCEN), and not the copyright law (DADVSI). The LCEN
provisions onISP liability are a direct transposition of the EU
E-commerce Directive. This decision is likely to constitute a major turn in
the legal qualification of web2.0 services.

The court acknowledges that DailyMotion is not a content provider as claimed
by the plaintiffs, but only a host provider, without any ambiguity, even
though its economic model is based on revenues from advertisement, while the
use of the platform is free of charge. Consequently, its liability is
limited, according to the LCEN and to article 15 of the Directive. The
second consequence acknowledged by the court, still according to this
national and EU legislation, is that Daily Motion has no general obligation
to monitor illegal content or illegal activities when providing, as host
provider, its services.

However, the decision innovates in that it considers that this limitation of
liability does not apply in the case of DailyMotion, since the illegal
activities of its users are “induced or generated by the host provider
itself”. The court argues that “the success of the enterprise necessarily
supposes the dissemination of works known by the public, solely able to
increase the audience and to correlatively ensures incomes through

Acording to French EDRI member IRIS, “this legal qualification of ISP
without a general obligation of monitoring of illegal activities but with a
general knowledge of illegal activities, on the basis of a given economic
model, is new, and neither contained in the LCEN nor in the E-commerce
Directive provisions.

While DailyMotion announced that it will immediately implement the “Audible
Magic” system to forbid the upload of content blacklisted in a database of
copyrighted works, IRIS warns against this a priori content control and this
use of filtering as a panacea to fight illegal content. According to the
digital rights NGO, this kind of content-sharing platforms should stick to
the sole activity of host provider, generating their revenues only from
providing space to store content under the sole responsibility of their
subscribers. According to IRIS, this allegedly “free of charge” use of
platforms is making fuzzy the repartition of liability between the platform
users and providers, and, in the end, constitutes an obstacle to the
preservation of freedom of expression, communication and information.

According to French medias, DailyMotion will appeal this decision, although
the company finds it “globally positive, since it recognizes its statutes of
host provider”.

TGI Paris ruling against DailyMotion (in French only, 13.07.2007)

DailyMotion, condemned for counterfeit , will filter Internet users videos
(in French only, 17.07.2007)

IRIS – “DailyMotion case: the Paris TGI writes the LCEN2.0” (in French only,

(Contribution by Meryem Marzouki, EDRI-member IRIS – France)