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Is streaming legal ? by Attorney Cahen

17 avril 2008 14:28

Streaming is a more and more popular technique on the net and a lot of website are devoted to.

Nevertheless this technique allowing to put on line audio or video files is often very nearly of law boundaries in matter of copyright and broadcating as well.

Lawyer Cahen, specialized in computer regulation, Communication and Information technologies gives his thoughts on what is going on in this field.

Helene de Brettes By Domaine.info

Streaming, technique which allows to watch a work right through a web site is the center point for web site evolution. This technique used in order to broadcast VOD is on website as Dailymotion or MySpace. Streaming looks like an option to downloading as it gives the opportunity to watch and share works without downloading into user’s computer.

This technique is a big obstacle for copyright. Peer to peer platform are commonly known as illegal what about those allowing users to use streaming technique in order to broadcast works ? Unfortunately this new system is not limited in videos exchange. So what is the platform liability when the work offered is in fact protected ?

The question is making a difference between the publisher and web hoster as their liabilities are various. According to the law LCEN (Digital economy trust law) June 21th 200, publisher is himself liable for the contents as he is either the author either he let it broadcast. On the opposite, web hoster is liable only once he has been informed that contents are illegal. In other words if the platform is considered as contents publisher liability could be called upon. On the contrary if platform is web hoster, liabilities could be called upon only once host has been informed of illegal contents. Trial state this case twice during last summer.

First case called “affaire Myspace” was initiate by an artist whose works were broadcast on Myspace through streaming. In emergency, judge said on July 22nd 2007 that MySpace liability was involved as considering the website as a publisher. He took in account that even if the website is not the author nevertheless ads published on its web pages are bringing profits

For the second case, “Dailymotion case” Paris Court took an opposite decision turning down publisher status for the platform stating that the only fact of publishing ads gives the platform web hoster status.

These two decisions which are aimed to find someone responsible in solvency for copyright seem to bring a shadow on the law as the real offenders who have put contents on line are not at all concerned by both judgments. So the limit between publisher and web hoster is not any more clear enough. If true web hosters are really targeted as they are compelled to watch over big winners seem to be the real author of these illegal contents even if they are in fact the more guilty…

Attorney Murielle-Isabelle Cahen AVOCAT ONLINE

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