Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hosting companies can no longer rely on the blind eye

The judgement last month against XS Networks is very much in favour of the content owners. In XS Networks hosted SumoTorrent but despite being told repeatedly that this contained large volumes of copyright infringing material took the view that until a court order was secured they would do nothing.

Typically hosting providers rely on the "mere conduit" defence but this was given short shrift by the Dutch court as follows;


“The unlawful characteristics of the activities on SumoTorrent were evident. Moreover they were obvious to XS Networks, or should have been obvious to XS Networks”
 If this interpretation is followed across Europe this will require hosting companies to react quickly to takedown notices or face damages - quite a game changer.