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FIAD’s contribution to the Digital Services Act Public Consultation: A unique opportunity to turn th

FIAD is glad to have contributed to the Commission’s consultation on the Digital Services Act, a piece of legislation that will define and shape the online sphere for years to come.

The E-Commerce Directive (ECD) has existed for 20 years and needs to be updated given the rapid transformation and growth of digital services. In 2020, there is a much wider diversity of digital services that play an active role than when the ECD was adopted in 2000.

We are glad to see that the European Commission has recognised some of the problems and appreciate the Commission’s efforts to improve the current legal framework that will be applicable to all digital developments over the next decade(s).

Our unwavering ambition to turn the tide against the scourge of large-scale online piracy has guided FIAD’s approach to the consultation. Therefore, the importance of the Digital Services Act to support copyright owners in the fight against online infringements cannot be overstated. The concept of ‘what is illegal offline should also be illegal online’ must be at the forefront of the DSA.

Thus, FIAD believes that the DSA offers an opportunity to 1) Amend and update the ECD to clarify that the exception from liability provided in Articles 12, 13 and 14 applies only to truly neutral intermediaries and 2) impose stronger liability for active online intermediaries when dealing with illegal content online - with the vision to reduce the proliferation of infringing content in the online sphere.

This should be complemented with responsibility rules to mitigate the proliferation of illegal content, through an enhanced and strengthened Know Your Business Customer requirement, building on provisions already set in Article 5 of the ECD and through a stay-down requirement as introduced in Article 17 of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market complementing the notice and take down regime.

To read FIAD’s position paper on the Digital Services Act please click here.

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