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Nick Aries

is a EU/UK IP partner located in international law firm Bird & Bird‘s San Francisco representative office. Nick advises on EU and UK copyright, trade mark and design, and trade secrets matters, with a particular focus on IP issues arising out of online and other digital businesses.

For more information or to contact Nick, please visit his Firm Profile Page.

Recent Articles by Nick Aries

Is Europe really moving away from protecting platforms and internet intermediaries?

This time last year, the combination of the Commission’s September 2017 Communication and the proposed Article 13 of the draft Copyright Directive led some to conclude that Europe was indeed moving away from protecting internet intermediaries. The Communication has now been backed up by the March 2018 Commission Recommendation and proposed new Regulation (with its focus on terrorist content). Whether Article 13 is ever enacted and in what form is still to be decided, but it is closer to adoption now than before the vote in September 2018. Meanwhile, we await answers from the CJEU regarding the permissible subject-matter breadth and territorial width of injunctions made against intermediaries.

Is Europe really (*still*) moving away from protecting platforms and internet intermediaries?

This time last year, the combination of the Commission’s September 2017 Communication and the proposed Article 13 of the draft Copyright Directive led some to conclude that Europe was indeed moving away from protecting internet intermediaries. Although the Communication has been backed up by the March 2018 Commission Recommendation (with its focus on terrorist content), whether Article 13 is ever enacted and in what form is still to be decided. Meanwhile, we await answers from the CJEU regarding the permissible subject-matter breadth and territorial width of injunctions made against intermediaries, and will keep an eye out for legislative action from the Commission following from its Recommendation earlier this year.

Is Europe really moving away from protecting Online platforms?

The media and political debate continues to rage: should new obligations be put on online platforms and other internet intermediaries to try to limit the availability of unlawful content online, and if so what should those obligations look like?… The combination of proposed Article 13 of the draft Copyright Directive and the Commission’s latest Communication will lead some to conclude that Europe is indeed moving away from protecting internet intermediaries. It certainly appears that the two developments would place a much greater onus on platforms than is currently the case. A fuller picture will be known in May 2018, when the Commission says the work of ensuring “swift and proactive detection and removal of illegal content online” will be complete, and the Copyright Directive in final form. But the direction European policy makers are heading in is already evident.

Digital Single Market: EU-wide consultation on online platforms has launched

The Consultation is part of the Commission’s assessment of the role of online platforms, promised in its Communication on a Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe (DSM) dated 6 May 2015. The Consultation covers a range of topics, including several controversial issues concerning transparency of online platforms and the proper extent of the hosting defence under the E-Commerce Directive. Interested parties have until around the end of December 2015 to respond (the exact closing date has not yet been published).