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Internet Service Providers Liability in Spain

  1. Dr. Miquel Peguera

Abstract

The article focuses on the current situation of Spanish case law on ISP liability. It starts by presenting the more salient peculiarities of the Spanish transposition of the safe harbours laid down in the E-Commerce Directive. These peculiarities relate to the knowledge requirement of the hosting safe harbour, and to the safe harbour for information location tools. The article then provides an overview of the cases decided so far with regard to each of the safe harbours. Very few cases have dealt with the mere conduit and the caching safe harbours, though the latter was discussed in an interesting case involving Google’s cache. Most cases relate to hosting and linking safe harbours. With regard to hosting, the article focuses particularly on the two judgments handed down by the Supreme Court that hold an open interpretation of actual knowledge, an issue where courts had so far been split. Cases involving the linking safe harbour have mainly dealt with websites offering P2P download links. Accordingly, the article explores the legal actions brought against these sites, which for the moment have been unsuccessful. The new legislative initiative to fight against digital piracy – the Sustainable Economy Bill – is also analyzed. After the conclusion, the article provides an Annex listing the cases that have dealt with ISP liability in Spain since the safe harbours scheme was transposed into Spanish law.

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Any party may pass on this Work by electronic means and make it available for download under the terms and conditions of the Digital Peer Publishing License. The text of the license may be accessed and retrieved at http://www.dipp.nrw.de/lizenzen/dppl/dppl/DPPL_v2_en_06-2004.html.

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