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From the Newsdesk

New Ruling may help to Clarify Online Marketplace Responsibility for Third Party IPR Infringement

Our good friends IPKat’s former Guest Kat Mirko Brüß has highlighted an interesting case where the online marketplace Rakuten has been held liable in a ruling in a long-awaited outcome here.

Following an earlier case, the Higher Regional Court of Nürnberg has ruled that an online marketplace can be liable when a third-party vendor uses an infringing image without permission to advertise another product. A photographer had discovered that one of his images of the Manhattan Bridge had been used on several websites to advertise a TV on a site called Rakuten.

Despite the photographer’s requests for take down being ignored, the Judge found Rakuten liable for these infringements.

According to IPKat, “Applying the CJEU’s reasoning from YouTube/Cyando, the court found Rakuten to play a central role. Without the provision and management of the sales platform, it would be impossible, or at least more complex, to freely share potentially copyright-infringing content on the internet.”

The court highlighted three groups of examples to justify a perpetrator’s liability of the platform operator for details of entire article please read here.

Dids Macdonald OBE., CEO of Anti Copying in Design (ACID) said, “Apparently this has been a long-awaited legal decision and the first time that a German court has applied different liability rules to an online marketplace. If Rakuten do not appeal, this may open the door to further cases where online marketplaces are obliged to be more liable for illegal use of images by third parties and may herald a move to more knowledge of who their customers are who may be infringing the IP rights of originators. It is something that is high on the list of ACID’s and other representative bodies who are highlighting the need for more legal accountability by online platforms on content used by third parties.”

The article was written by Mr. Mirko Brüß and brought to our attention by IPKat editor Nedim Malovic.

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