1 To what extent should online intermediaries (such as ISPs and operators of online marketplaces) be responsible for controlling or forbidding unfair competitive practices (such as sale of infringing products) on their systems? Questions Respondents for Austria: Christian Handig and Max W. Mosing - Basis of Liability 1) In your jurisdiction on what legal theories can on-line intermediaries be held liable for infringement under intellectual property and unfair competition laws? Please distinguish in your answer between: a) different types of on-line intermediary First we want to clarify that the infringements are obviously committed by others than the on-line intermediaries themselves. Otherwise, they would not be treated differently from other immediate infringers. Thus, on-line intermediaries do not enjoy liability privileges in Austria if they themselves provide contents (Austrian Supreme Court 19/02/2004, 60b190/03i). Further, the Austrian Supreme Court states that the relevant e-commerce Law (ECG), which was enacted on basis of the European e-commerce Directive, does not provide any new conditions of liability for service providers, including on-line intermediaries, but only sets a limit to liabilities concerning external contents (Austrian Supreme Court 06/07/2004, 4Ob66/04s); thus, the ECG does not specify any new conditions of liability but liability privileges and exclusions; those are, virtually, examined like a filter in advance and only if a liability is possible after the filter, the examination continues according to the general provisions. The service providers privileged by the ECG (including inter alia Access Providers1, Search Engine, Cashing, Link And Host Service Providers) are not obliged to monitor the information they saved, transferred or made accessible (Sec 18 ECG). Unless the Access Provider or the Search Engine Provider respectively, has not prompted the transmission and selected the recipient of the transferred information, he is not responsible for the contents (Sec 13 f ECG). With an own regulation for search engines, the Austrian provision goes beyond the European regulations which mention instruments for localisation of information only with regard to future adaption requirements (Art 21 Section 2 e-commerce RL). A Search Engine Provider is not obliged to check the search terms used by its advertising clients for trademark or competition infringements without prior warning; only in case of an obvious violation of law is it possible to say that the search engine provider deliberately supports the infringer (Austrian Supreme Court 19/12/2005, 4Ob194/05s). Sort of an exception constitutes the.at-registry (www.nic.at): The registry has no obligation of examination before or in connection with the registration of a second-leveldomain according to case law (Austrian Supreme Court 24/02/2009, 4Ob235/08z). BUT: The application of principles developed for the liability of media companies for the 1 Concerning access providers two references for a preliminary ruling, C-70/10 and C-360/10, are at present before the ECJ
2 publication of anti-competitive advertisements then lead to liability of the.at-registry when the injured party demands an intervention presenting the relevant facts and the infringement is obvious to the legal layman without further investigation. Whether a legal layman can see the infringement without further investigation depends on the circumstances of the individual case (Austrian Supreme Court 19/12/2006), 4Ob229/06i). In such a case it is also reasonable to require from the registry to take measures to stop the infringement. The refusal of the registry to close the domain despite knowledge of an obvious infringement, means to support the obvious infringement of the immediate perpetrator and to enable to continuation of the infringement (Austrian Supreme Court 13/09/2000, 4Ob166/00s and others RIS-RS ). A Cash Provider (service provider who, temporarily, saves information entered by the user and transferred via communication network to make the information retrieval more efficient for other users) is not liable for the contents as long as he (i) does not amend the information, (ii) respects the rules on the right of access to information, (iii) follows the rules for information update set out in commonly accepted and followed industry standards, (iv) does not interfere with the application of technology for data collection concerning the use of the information, set out in commonly accepted and followed industry standards and (v) immediately removes the information it has stored or disables access thereto upon obtaining actual knowledge of the fact that the information at the initial source of the transmission has been removed from the network, or access to it has been disabled, or that a court or an administrative authority has ordered such removal or disablement (Sec 15 ECG). A Link Provider, i.e. a service provider providing access to external information through an electronic link, is not liable for this information pursuant to Sec 17 ECG (a) if he does not have actual knowledge of the illegal activity or information and is not aware of any facts or conditions concerning claims of damages making an illegal activity or information obvious, or (b) upon obtaining this knowledge or awareness, immediately, sets out actions to remove the electronic link. This privilege is not applicable if the person that sent the information is subordinated to the service provider or under his supervision or if the service provider presents the external information as if it were his own. The liability of the link provider was denied in copyright law: The simple creation of a hyperlink is no reproduction of the digital work on the computer addressed; it is not a duplication of the internet presence of the provider because the hyperlink only makes the accessibility easier but does not extend or even duplicate the information posted on the internet (Austrian Supreme Court 21/12/2004, 4Ob252/04v). BUT: Deliberately linking to unlawful content can cause liability, in both criminal and civil terms: If the provider placing a link on his websites, integrates the content of the external website, accessible through the link, to his website visually and contently, making the external website a component of his own website, he thereby expresses that, without the external service, his website is not complete to an extent as it would be necessary in the eyes of the provider; therefore he is liable for the content of the external website (Austrian Supreme Court 24/11/2010, 9Ob76/10g). In case the publication of the pictures on the website made the pornographic images accessible only to a group of people who deliberately accessed the website, the sending of the hyperlink to this homepage to another person constitutes the receiver-oriented offense of Sec 207a para 1 No 3 StGB (Austrian Supreme Court OGH 01/04/2009, 11Os21/08k).
3 A Host Service Provider is not liable for the information stored by users if he did not know or did not need to know about the unlawfulness and upon obtaining knowledge, immediately, takes action by removing or disabling access to the information (Sec 16 ECG). In the decision ECJ 23/03/2010, C-236/08, the ECJ confirms that Art 14 e-commerce RL should be interpreted to that effect that the provider of an on-line reference service in case he did not play an active role giving him knowledge of control over the stored data, cannot be held responsible for the data stored on request of the advertiser, except he didn t, immediately upon obtaining knowledge of the unlawfulness of the information or actions of the advertiser, remove the information or disable access to it (Tenor ECJ 23/02/2010, C-236/08). In the case of Online Marketplaces, it has to be distinguished which service is offered in particular. Since, generally, there is the option of storing the information, such a business should be considered a host service provider. The prevailing opinion in Austria declines a Stoererhaftung according to German law; however, under Austrian case law liability of assistants is a term of wide comprehension: Thus, on-line intermediaries can be sued for relief, removal or prevention of infringement regardless of any default (Sec 19 Sec 1 ECG). Thus, concerning Host Service Providers, the Austrian Supreme Court finds that the liability privilege according to Sec 16 Sec 1 ECG only excludes liabilities for damages and criminal liability but not civil claims for relief (Austrian Supreme Court 21/12/2006, 6Ob178/04a). It is this (counter) exception that may lead to comprehensive claims against on-line intermediaries due to the wide comprehension of claims for relief as shows a current proceeding (currently decision of the court of first instance with the option of three instances up to the Supreme Court): film producers have brought an action against a big Austrian Access Provider for the Access Provider to refrain from granting access to illegal copies of the movies made accessible through the court of first instance accepted the claim. In Austria, also certain judicially enforceable legal claims are considered additional claims to the relief, in particular the removal and the publication of the judgement. The latter could lead to huge (publication) costs in external media for the on-line intermediary, so that there is the possibility of pecuniary liability in the broadest sense. b) copyright, trade marks and unfair competition The claim for relief, playing an important role in the Austrian practice, can be claimed against on-line intermediaries if they are considered assistants, implying that the on-line intermediaries have, deliberately, supported the infringement. This also applies to competition, trademark and copyright law (e.g. Austrian Supreme Court 24/4/2001, 4Ob81/01t), but not to copyright law: Under copyright law, there is a special regulation in Sec 81 UrhG concerning relief and removal (court order according to Art 8 Sec 3 InfoRL). Accordingly, an intermediary, including on-line intermediaries, can only be sued, in case the conditions of exclusion of liability according to Sec ECG can be applied, but only after written warning (Sec 81 para 1a last sentence UrhG). c) civil law and criminal law If there is no default, on-line intermediaries cannot be held liable according to Austrian criminal laws. However, there have been legal (mostly copyright) disputes over information duties of on-line intermediaries. After all, in a legal criminal proceeding, the
4 court can demand the issue of all data (Duty of Disclosure according to Sec 135 StPO). Thus, on-line intermediaries who entered into agreements over the transfer and storage of information with the immediate criminal suspect, have to give all the information concerning prevention, investigation, solving and prosecution of any legal offense to the penal courts (Sec 18 para 2 ECG). According to the prevalent opinion, Sec 18 para 2 ECG does not grant an active right to information, but only defines the exemption, under which Access and Host Providers are allowed to provide information despite numerous confidentiality obligations. In criminal law this is in particular Sec 135 StPO. But there are also others: In Sec 87 para 3 UrhG, there is a special provision on duties of disclosure for intermediaries. There is also one in Sec 14a UWG, whereas the organisations entitled to disclosure of information are limited to the following: Federal Chamber of Labour, Austrian Chamber of Commerce, he Presidential Conference of the Austrian Chambers of Agriculture, the Austrian Federation of Trade Unions, the Federal Competition Authority, the Consumer Information Association and the Austrian Association against Unfair Competition. In civil proceedings, generally, on-line intermediaries have the capacity to be sued, especially when it comes to instruments regardless of default claim for relief, removal or prevention of infringement. In other cases, particularly in the case of damages, default, inter alia, has to be demonstrated. Of particular interest for right holder is the disclosure of user data concerning dynamic IP addresses: Since the ECJ 19/02/2009, C , due to the Austrian preliminary questions, left it to the member states to decide whether there should be a civil claim of disclosure of user data concerning dynamic IP addresses (with copyright violation) against access providers, the Austrian Supreme Court 14/07/2009, 4Ob41/09x, declined a civil claim based on copyright law. On the other hand, the Austrian Supreme Court 13/04/2011, 14Os172/10y, confirms that public prosecutors have the right to request users personal data on grounds of proof to clearance of criminal data of providers without court sanction and no matter whether they have dynamic or static IP addresses. d) direct and accessorial liability In the Austrian legal system, the distinction between direct or indirect liability is only partly relevant: Under criminal law, compliancy (inciter, accomplice) only has an influence on the range of the sentence. Under civil law, not every contributor can be held liable; in case of liability, there is, practically, no difference to direct liability. However, please note again that the prevailing opinion in Austria declines a Stoererhaftung according to German law; however, under Austrian case law liability of assistants is a term of wide comprehension: Thus, on-line intermediaries can be sued for relief, removal or prevention of infringement regardless of any default (Sec 19 Sec 1 ECG). 2) In your jurisdiction are there any special liability defences available to on-line intermediaries for infringement of intellectual property rights? Please distinguish in your answer between: a) direct and accessorial liability
5 s. 1a b) copyright, trade marks and unfair competition s. 1b c) civil law and criminal law Horizontal safe harbour for on-line intermediaries in civil and criminal law As mentioned above, the (Content) Provider, providing contents himself, does not enjoy liability privileges; thus, the general provisions and accordingly developed principles of law are to be applied (Austrian Supreme Court 19/02/2004, 6Ob190/03i). Practically, it is hard to distinguish between Content and Non-Content Providers and the Austrian case law adapts its decision to the individual case: Also such Content Providers who do not put contents online themselves, do not have safe harbours : In this sense, also a person making information available for third parties for distribution purposes in any form and through any media which is later integrated by the third parties in a homepage or the subdirectories of a homepage, can be held liable, contributed to the distribution on the internet which he has to accept regardless of whether he had an influence on the content and design of the homepage or its subdirectories. (Austrian Supreme Court 22/02/2001, 6Ob308/00s). Also a person acting as Host Provider who does not provide contents himself, can become Content Provider and therefore neither under civil or criminal law invoke on the safe harbour provisions: The operator of an on-line guest book, generally, provides external contents, however, he can underlie special obligations of examination against the provisions in connection with (a) safe harbour and (b) lack of duty of examination of external contents (Sec 18 para 1 ECG), so that he has to examine the on-line guest book on unlawful postings of third parties and otherwise can be held directly liable for those postings (Austrian Supreme Court 21/12/2006, 6Ob178/04a). The operator of an on-line archive, possibly only archiving external contents, can be treated like an on-line medium, qualifying the accessibility in an on-line archive of an article published in print or on-line newspapers as distribution and making the operator liable as if it were his own content. (cf. Austrian Supreme Court 20/10/2004, 3Ob47/04i). (Non-Content) on-line intermediaries can, also under civil and criminal law, invoke on the safe harbour regulations of the e-commerce Law. BUT: Sec 19 para 1 e-commerce Law implies that the liability privileges according to the safe harbour only exclude liability for damages and criminal liability and do not apply to civil claims for relief (Austrian Supreme Court 21/12/2006, 6Ob178/04a). Recently, this lead to an obligation of first instance for one of the biggest Austrian Access Providers to refrain from making certain movies as illegal copies accessible for its clients via the decision is not final. In the light of that, in case of claim for relief (regardless of any default), which is, in civil law, in particular relevant in connection with slander, it is to prove whether on-line
6 intermediaries can invoke on other defences. This is in especially important in case of slander because, generally, the principle applies that that person is liable who made the fact known to a bigger group of people (RIS-RS ): in regard of the protection purpose the important thing is the interference one is involved in, so it is not considered necessary that there is an intellectual relation of the distributor to the content of thought (Austrian Supreme Court 25/02/2004, 3Ob261/03h). The case law, however, developed the principle which is probably also relevant for on-line intermediaries that there should be distinguished between the intellectual distributor, i.e. the one with an intellectual reference to the statement and the technical distributor, lacking such a reference (Austrian Supreme Court 15/03/2001, 6Ob45/01p); the latter only has to accept the accusation of slander if the wrongfulness of the facts was obvious for him under compliance of due diligence and he distributed the facts anyway (Austrian Supreme Court 15/03/2011, 6Ob51/10w). Here, case law drew an analogy to booksellers: Like the bookseller is only liable for relief in the case he knows or has to know the untruth or false facts in books distributed by him (Austrian Supreme Court 16/12/2003, 4Ob221/03h), this also applies to on-line intermediaries (Austrian Supreme Court 21/12/2006, 6Ob 178/04a). Defence based on internationality of the internet Accepting the need of design options to limit advertisement and offerings on the Internet to certain countries, the information on a website (disclaimer) that the offering only applies to certain markets is an additional indication of the markets the offering is designed for; however, this information must not be in conflict with the other content of the website or the actual performance of the advertising enterprise (Austrian Supreme Court 20/02/2007, 4Ob47/07a). Thus, on-line intermediaries (particularly, Host Service Providers) would have the chance to protect themselves against potential worldwide prosecution by disclaimers or even by trying to restrict technical access. Defence based on internet as a special feature Generally, the Austrian case law presumes that there is no Internet specific form of statements of facts: the content of a statement itself should be judged, regardless of the medium (Austrian Supreme Court 09/08/2006, 4Ob116/06x), and, therefore, also regardless of any special technical features of the Internet. Therefore, in general, on-line intermediaries cannot invoke on special technical features of the Internet except of the privileges of the e-commerce Law. Excluded are any possible information duties and information where possible limitations of the volume due to the medium (especially in the area of e-commerce) should be taken into consideration; e.g. Art 2 Section 4 UWG: A business practice is considered misleading also if it, considering the limitations of the communication medium, doesn t contain important information, required by the market participant to make an informed business decision, and which is therefore qualified to lead the market participant to a business decision which he otherwise wouldn t have made. Defence based on role as messenger As outlined above, on-line intermediaries have to do with external contents, according to definition: Art 3 UWG, concerning injunctive relief, restricts the liability of editors or
7 owners of newspapers for information published in the interest of third parties to information presenting a recommendation of the editorship of another business. That is, it excludes the injunctive relief of advertisements may they be, as usually, subject to charge or not where not the newspaper but the advertiser is the addresser, i.e. where it is not the editorship that recommends a certain business but the business recommends itself (RIS-RS ). That could also be relevant for on-line intermediaries. The case law, however, interprets this privilege in a narrow sense: For instance, (foreign) TV stations are held liable for domestic trademark violation by contents designed by third parties because it is the TV stations that enable the domestic broadcasting of the programme produced by themselves and broadcast under their logo on the basis of the contracts they entered into (Austrian Supreme Court 19/11/2009, 17 Ob26/09m). Thus, when it comes to substantive law, on-line intermediaries do not gain a lot of profit by Art 3 UWG. d) direct and accessorial liability In Austria, there are no liability privileges nor is there safe harbour for Content Providers. So there is no according defence for immediate infringements. Not only the one personally acting and himself wanting the act is the offender, but also the accomplice (Austrian Supreme Court 17/09/1996, 4Ob2205/96k). Under Austrian unfair competition, copyright and trademark law, anyone is liable as accomplice who acts according to the facts as they are presented in the laws (Austrian Supreme Court 16/12/2003, 4Ob221/03h). That leads to the unfortunate fact that on-line intermediaries can, under certain circumstances, become accomplices and, therefore, Content Providers themselves even if not by function, as depicted in the example of on-line guest books mentioned above, especially if there is a chance that third parties continue to post obvious unlawful contents. Link Providers per se, who refer to external contents and who are generally privileged (see above) can become Content Providers without safe harbour by the linking technique. If the provider placing a link on his websites, integrates the content of the external website, accessible through the link, to his website visually and contently, making the external website a component of his own website, he thereby expresses that, without the external service, his website is not complete to an extent as it would be necessary in the eyes of the provider; therefore he is liable for the content of the external website (Austrian Supreme Court 18/11/2003, 4Ob219/03i). Also a Host Provider by function can under certain circumstances be held liable like a Content Provider: e.g. a provider providing a third party with a controversial domain name as internet address purchased with the intent to hinder and make profit, is liable for it because he actually uses the domain name, even if only accessorial (Austrian Supreme Court 27/04/1999, 4Ob105/99s). On access liability and the (questionable) boundaries of the safe harbour regulations Generally, liability privileges for on-line intermediaries in the sense of the safe harbour should exclude liability particularly there, where, otherwise, liability would be possible due to compliancy or liability of assistants. Under Austrian criminal law, the liability privileges of the ECL always apply. In other words: as long as on-line intermediaries are not Content Providers themselves or deliberately and in full knowledge of the facts participate in criminal acts, the safe harbour as mentioned above applies.
8 In the area of copyright, trademarks and unfair competition, especially the latter, and in civil law, especially when it comes to civil discredit, liability privileges get undermined by the (questionable) boundaries to Content Providers, even though, on-line intermediaries should only be held liable under certain circumstances anyway, i.e. they should be held liable only in very special cases, regardless of the liability privileges under ECG, in particular in case they did not just make any (!) causal contribution to the unlawful act, but were actually accomplices : Only who deliberately supports the (immediate) offender, is an accomplice : The accomplice has to set an adequate cause for the acts of interference of another person and, therefore, also has to know the facts underlying his illegal actions; in other words the accomplice must have knowledge of the intended breach of law and at least accept it (RIS-RS ). In the wording of Sec 12 StGB and Sec 7 VStG the accomplice has to contribute to the action or facilitate it (Austrian Supreme Court 10/02/2004, 4Ob227/03s). Therefore, it is not enough for an independent third party to contribute in any way, wilfully and adequately causally, to the illegal interference; disturbance liability include, apart from the immediate offender, only those third parties who have violated their duty of examination of possible law infringement (Austrian Supreme Court 18/01/2000, 4Ob316/99w) for on-line intermediaries, also see the exclusion of monitoring duty according to Sec 18 ECG. The Austrian case law, therefore, denied the assistance of parents in the copyright violation of their children by filesharing because the parents are not obliged to monitor their children s on-line activities (Austrian Supreme Court 22/01/2008, 4Ob194/07v). In some cases, Austrian case law also names distinct economic interests as condition for complicity, so the accomplice cannot be held liable under certain circumstances: The bookseller, selling a book with illegal content is independent when it comes to his own economic interests and not an accomplice of the publisher, in the sense of law (Austrian Supreme Court 18/12/2002, 3Ob215/02t). Since, in his function, the bookseller is similar to on-line intermediaries, in answering the question of complicity this rule may be relevant, too. - Remedies 3) in your jurisdiction what sort of remedies, in particular injunctions, can be awarded against online intermediaries and in what circumstances? Please distinguish in your answers between: a) different types of on-line intermediary Even though, efforts to adjust the legal consequences in the area of IP, slander and competition law have been ongoing for quite some time, there are still differences in Austria, which may be relevant for on-line intermediaries: As already mentioned above, a (Content) Provider, making contents available himself, does not enjoy liability privileges; therefore, the general provisions and principles of law, developed thereto, apply (Austrian Supreme Court 19/02/2004, 6Ob190/03i). As described above, the e-commerce Law does not provide new liability conditions for service providers, including also on-line intermediaries, but limits the liability concerning external contents (cf. Austrian Supreme Court 06/07/2004, 4Ob66/04s). Therefore, concerning remedies see details below, there is no difference between online intermediaries, but the qualification as respective on-line intermediary decides if any legal remedy will be taken. b) copyright, trademarks and unfair competition
9 As already outlined above, according to Sec 19 ECG, the claim for relief, removal or prevention of infringement can be exercisable against on-line intermediaries if they are accomplices because they deliberately supported the act of infringement. That applies to competition, trademark and copyright law (cf. Austrian Supreme Court 24/04/2001, 4Ob81/01t). The general remedies of relief ensured by preliminary injunction and the respective additional claims for removal and publication of judgement deprive from the following provisions. The publication of judgement serves to guarantee the claim for relief and, therefore, is a form of additional claim. The aim is not only to interfere with an existing false opinion, but also to prohibit further distribution thereof (cf. RIS-RS ); it consists in the legitimate interest in the publication of the judgement (for many: Austrian Supreme Court 26/06/2008, 10Ob47/08x): It should reveal the infringement in public interest and inform the relevant public about the real situation (Austrian Supreme Court 18/12/2009, 6Ob81/09v). Competition Law Relief, including removal and publication of judgement and in case of default also claim for damages, are possible remedies. Relief can be ensured by preliminary injunction (cf. full text in Annex 1 on UWG). Trademark Law Relief, including removal and publication of judgement, claim for reasonable compensation, request for information and in case of fault also claim for damages, are possible remedies. Relief, removal, claim for reasonable compensation, claim for damages and measures to preserve evidence can be ensured by preliminary injunction. (cf. full text in Annex 1 on Trademark Law). Copyright law Relief, including removal and publication of judgement, claim for reasonable compensation, request for information and in case of fault also claim for damages, are possible remedies. Relief, removal, claim for reasonable compensation, claim for damages and measures to preserve evidence can be ensured by preliminary injunction. (cf. full text in Annex 1 on Copyright Law). In copyright law, there is a special regulation in Sec 81 UrhG on relief and removal (judicial order in accordance with Art 8 Section 3 InfoRL) and in Sec 87b UrhG on the claim for information (undermined by jurisdiction see above). c) civil law and criminal law Claims against on-line intermediaries as Host Providers under civil law are possible in connection with slander pursuant to Sec 1330 ABGG despite the privileges of the e- Commerce Law: Claims on the basis of Sec 1330 ABGB are, however, not only directed against the immediate offender, i.e. the person the interference originates from, but also against accomplices, instigators and assistants to the actual infringer, who deliberately supported the offender (RIS-RS ). In case of a preliminary injunction on the basis of Sec 1330 ABGB, a relief order (also in form of a prohibition) does not include the duty to take certain actions for removal as Sec 15 UWG does not apply analogously. It is left to the infringed party to claim for certain although broadly defined remedial measures already in the trial procedure in addition to
10 the claim of revocation explicitly specified in the law and to obtain a respective legal title (Austrian Supreme Court 18/12/2002, 3Ob215/02t). Therefore, as far as claims for relief and removal are concerned, they are, also against on-line intermediaries, not affected by Sec 19 ECG. Assuming that on-line intermediaries, as Non-Content Providers, are not immediate offenders, due to the privileges under the ECG, we do not cite any legal remedies here. d) direct and accessorial liability, and those instances in which no liability on the part of the intermediary is required for a remedy as against an intermediary to be ordered Cf. above; in particular on the requirement of previous warning under copyright law. - Analysis and Assessment 4) By reference to the current state of the law in your jurisdiction as to the status of online intermediaries for unfair competitive practices carried out on their systems, and having reference to, inter alias, the issues discussed above under Policy Considerations : a) Does your law strike an appropriate balance as the facilities to sell or to provide services, and finally consumers, who may themselves also be selling goods or providing services. If not why not, and what suggestions do you have as to how the law might be amended to strike such a balance? As Content Providers, i.e. also B2B, B2C or C2C providers via platforms, do not enjoy liability privileges themselves, in the case of Content Providers, it is with good reason not necessary to weigh up the interests: They are liable for their illegal contents online and offline. The current legal position in Austria is searching for a balance according liability privileges between the infringed rights holders and the on-line intermediaries, who even though, technically, enabled the actions of infringement, have no direct influence on the infringement. In our opinion, it would be necessary to make a stronger and clearer distinction between those on-line intermediaries who only enable access and those who host the information infringing the rights of third parties and even those who have legally to be qualified as Content Providers. Due to the fact that Sec 19 ECG does not exclude claims for relief, removal or prevention of infringement against on-line intermediaries, on-line intermediaries may, in practice, be confronted with legal action for relief, removal and also (more expensive) publication of judgement. Only the Austrian copyright law seeks to counteract this by a notice-and-takedown-procedure, making previous warning a condition for legal action against on-line intermediaries. Since a warning is effected in a relatively short period of time, on-line intermediaries, quickly, find themselves caught in the middle in the area of copyright law: In case of a notice-and-take-down-procedure, rights holders may, probably, in their own interests, exaggerate in their claims of infringement and in case on-line intermediaries reply to warnings, they are quickly confronted with claims of clients or the accusation of censorship. Moreover, in practice, it is hard to draw the line between Content Providers and real online intermediaries, so on-line intermediaries cannot generally rely on the liability privileges. It would be desirable to find a legally secure definition, however, in practice it should also be difficult since it would always be behind the rapid (technical) development in this area. However, it would be desirable to find at least guidelines as orientation for on-line intermediaries and the courts.
11 Even though liability privileges for on-line intermediaries seem useful and desirable, those shall not lead to infringed parties and rights holders to be confronted with a fait accompli that they cannot enforce their rights because the actual offender cannot be found. Therefore it would be worth considering whether, in return for the comprehensive liability privileges, on-line intermediaries should be obliged to make reasonable registration compulsory for users and also to implement a respective duty of disclosure of the user data for on-line intermediaries, so infringed third parties or rights holders can obtain information on the user data concerned. b) Are there any inconsistencies in treatment or approach (for example as between different types of online intermediary, between copyright, trademarks and unfair competition, between civil law and criminal law, and between direct and accessorial liability) that you would either support or question, explaining the basis for your view? As already mentioned, it does not seem useful to introduce liability privileges for on-line intermediaries on the one hand, and, on the other hand, exclude claims for relief and removal, which are, in practice, the most important claims in IP and unfair competition law, from liability privileges, so on-line intermediaries can again be confronted with legal actions right away. Only copyright law is seeks for consistency here by making previous warning a condition for legal action against on-line intermediaries. This condition would also seem useful in all other legal areas, and, therefore, Sec 19 ECG should be adapted accordingly. On the other hand, the duty of previous warning practically leads to the fact that infringed parties and rights holders send out warnings to on-line intermediaries and those may get into conflict whether to protect the rights of the parties infringed or the rights of their clients/users. Moreover, on-line intermediaries often are confronted with the accusation of censorship if the e.g. block user contents.
12 Annex 1: E-Commerce-Law - ECG Part 5 Responsibility of service providers Exclusion of responsibility for transmission 13. (1) A service provider which transmits information input by a user in a communication network or provides access to a communication network shall not be responsible for the transmitted information, provided the service provider: 1. does not initiate the transmission, 2. does not select the receiver of the transmitted information; and 3. does not select or modify the transmitted information. (2) The transmission of information and provision of access in the terms of Para 1 shall include the automatic, intermediate and transient storage of the transmitted information, provided such storage takes place for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission in the communication network and provided the information is not stored any longer than is normally necessary for the transmission. Exclusion of responsibility for search engines 14. (1) A service provider which provides users with a search engine or other electronic aids to search for thirdparty information shall not be responsible for the information retrieved, provided the service provider: 1. does not initiate the transmission of the retrieved information; 2. does not select the receiver of the retrieved information; and 3. does not select or modify the retrieved information. (2) Para 1 shall not be applicable if the person from whom the retrieved information stems is subordinate to or supervised by the service provider. Exclusion of responsibility for caching 15. A service provider which transfers information input by a user in a communication network shall not be responsible for any automatic, intermediate and temporary storage for the sole purpose of rendering more efficient the transmission of information to other users when called up, provided the service provider: 1. does not modify the information;
13 2. complies with the terms and conditions on accessing the information; 3. complies with rules regarding the updating of the information as specified in standards generally accepted and used by industry; 4. does not interfere with the admissible use of technologies, which have been determined in standards generally accepted and used by industry, to obtain data on the use of the information; and 5. acts expeditiously to remove or to disable access to the information it has stored upon obtaining actual knowledge of the fact that the information at the initial source of the transmission has been removed from the network, or access to it has been disabled, or that a court or an administrative authority has ordered such removal or disablement. Exclusion of responsibility for storage of third-party content (hosting) 16. (1) A service provider which stores information input by users shall not be responsible for the information stored on behalf of a user, provided the service provider: 1. does not have actual knowledge of illegal activity or information and, as regards claims for damages, is not aware of facts or circumstances from which the illegal activity or information is apparent; or 2. upon obtaining such knowledge or awareness, acts expeditiously to remove or to disable access to the information. (2) Para 1 shall not be applicable if the user is subordinate to or supervised by the service provider. Exclusion of responsibility for links 17. (1) service provider which provides access to thirdparty information by means of an electronic link shall not be responsible for such information, provided the service provider:, 1. does not have actual knowledge of illegal activity or information and, as regards claims for damages, is not aware of facts or circumstances from which the illegal activity or information is apparent; or 2. upon obtaining such knowledge or awareness, acts expeditiously to remove the electronic link. (2) Para 1 shall not be applicable if the person from whom the information stems is subordinate to or supervised by the service provider or if the service provider presents the third-party information as its own. Scope of duties of service providers 18. (1) The service providers mentioned in 13 to 17 shall not be obligated to monitor in a general fashion the information stored, transmitted or made available by them or to actively research circumstances indicating illegal activity. (2) At the order of any domestic court authorised by law for this purpose, the service providers mentioned in 13 and 16 must transmit to such court all information based on which the users of their services with whom they have concluded agreements concerning the transmission or storage of information can be investigated in order to prevent, investigate, clarify or prosecute legally punishable acts. (3) Based on any order from an administrative authority, the service providers mentioned in 16 must transmit to such authority the names and addresses of the users of their services with whom they have concluded agreements concerning the storage of information, provided knowledge of such information constitutes a material prerequisite for realising the duties assigned to the authority. (4) The service providers mentioned in 16 must transmit the names and addresses of any user of their services with whom they have concluded agreements concerning the storage of information at the request of third parties, provided such third parties have an overriding legal interest in determining the identity of the
14 user or any particular illegal state of affairs, and furthermore substantiate that knowledge of such information constitutes a material prerequisite for legal prosecution. (5) No other duties of the service providers to provide information to and co-operate with authorities or courts shall be prejudiced hereby. Further provisions 19. (1) 13 to 18 shall not prejudice any legal provisions in accordance with which a court or administrative authority may order a service provider to desist from, remedy or prevent any legal violation. (2) Para 1 as well as 13 to 18 are also to be applied to providers which provide electronic services free of charge..
15 Strafprozessordnung Auszug Beschlagnahme von Briefen, Auskunft über Daten einer Nachrichtenübermittlung sowie Überwachung von Nachrichten 135. (1) Beschlagnahme von Briefen ist zulässig, wenn sie zur Aufklärung einer vorsätzlich begangenen Straftat, die mit mehr als einjähriger Freiheitsstrafe bedroht ist, erforderlich ist und sich der Beschuldigte wegen einer solchen Tat in Haft befindet oder seine Vorführung oder Festnahme deswegen angeordnet wurde. (2) Auskunft über Daten einer Nachrichtenübermittlung ist zulässig, wenn und solange der dringende Verdacht besteht, dass eine von der Auskunft betroffene Person eine andere entführt oder sich sonst ihrer bemächtigt hat, und sich die Auskunft auf Daten einer solchen Nachricht beschränkt, von der anzunehmen ist, dass sie zur Zeit der Freiheitsentziehung vom Beschuldigten übermittelt, empfangen oder gesendet wird, wenn zu erwarten ist, dass dadurch die Aufklärung einer vorsätzlich begangenen Straftat, die mit einer Freiheitsstrafe von mehr als sechs Monaten bedroht ist, gefördert werden kann und der Inhaber der technischen Einrichtung, die Ursprung oder Ziel einer Übertragung von Nachrichten war oder sein wird, der Auskunft ausdrücklich zustimmt, oder wenn zu erwarten ist, dass dadurch die Aufklärung einer vorsätzlich begangenen Straftat, die mit Freiheitsstrafe von mehr als einem Jahr bedroht ist, gefördert werden kann und auf Grund bestimmter Tatsachen anzunehmen ist, dass dadurch Daten des Beschuldigten ermittelt werden können. (3) Überwachung von Nachrichten ist zulässig, 1. in den Fällen des Abs. 2 Z 1, a. b. 4. in den Fällen des Abs. 2 Z 2, sofern der Inhaber der technischen Einrichtung, die Ursprung oder Ziel einer Übertragung von Nachrichten war oder sein wird, der Überwachung zustimmt, wenn dies zur Aufklärung einer vorsätzlich begangenen Straftat, die mit Freiheitsstrafe von mehr als einem Jahr bedroht ist, erforderlich erscheint oder die Aufklärung oder Verhinderung von im Rahmen einer kriminellen oder terroristischen Vereinigung oder einer kriminellen Organisation ( 278 bis 278b StGB) begangenen oder geplanten strafbaren Handlungen ansonsten wesentlich erschwert wäre und der Inhaber der technischen Einrichtung, die Ursprung oder Ziel einer Übertragung von Nachrichten war oder sein wird, der vorsätzlich begangenen Straftat, die mit Freiheitsstrafe von mehr als einem Jahr bedroht ist, oder einer Straftat gemäß 278 bis 278b StGB dringend verdächtig ist, oder auf Grund bestimmter Tatsachen anzunehmen ist, dass eine der Tat (lit. a) dringend verdächtige Person die technische Einrichtung benützen oder mit ihr eine Verbindung herstellen werde; wenn auf Grund bestimmter Tatsachen zu erwarten ist, dass dadurch der Aufenthalt eines flüchtigen oder abwesenden Beschuldigten, der einer vorsätzlich begangenen, mit mehr als einjähriger Freiheitsstrafe bedrohten strafbaren Handlung dringend verdächtig ist, ermittelt werden kann.
16 Urheberrechtsgesetz (Bundesgesetz über das Urheberrecht an Werken der Literatur und der Kunst und über verwandte Schutzrechte) - Auszüge III. Hauptstück. Rechtsdurchsetzung I. Abschnitt. Zivilrechtliche Vorschriften. Unterlassungsanspruch. 81. (1) Wer in einem auf dieses Gesetz gegründeten Ausschließungsrecht verletzt worden ist oder eine solche Verletzung zu besorgen hat, kann auf Unterlassung klagen. Der Inhaber eines Unternehmens kann hierauf auch dann geklagt werden, wenn eine solche Verletzung im Betrieb seines Unternehmens von einem Bediensteten oder Beauftragten begangen worden ist oder droht; 81 Abs. 1a gilt sinngemäß. (1a) Bedient sich derjenige, der eine solche Verletzung begangen hat oder von dem eine solche Verletzung droht, hiezu der Dienste eines Vermittlers, so kann auch dieser auf Unterlassung nach Abs. 1 geklagt werden. Wenn, bei diesem die Voraussetzungen für einen Ausschluss der Verantwortlichkeit nach den 13 bis 17 ECG vorliegen, kann er jedoch erst nach Abmahnung geklagt werden. Beseitigungsanspruch. 82. (1) Wer in einem auf dieses Gesetz gegründeten Ausschließungsrechte verletzt wird, kann verlangen, daß der dem Gesetz widerstreitende Zustand beseitigt werde; 81 Abs. 1a gilt sinngemäß. [ ] (6) Der Beseitigungsanspruch richtet sich gegen den Eigentümer der Gegenstände, die den der Beseitigung des gesetzwidrigen Zustandes dienenden Maßnahmen unterliegen. Der Anspruch kann während der Dauer des verletzten Rechtes so lange geltend gemacht werden, als solche Gegenstände vorhanden sind. [ ] Urteilsveröffentlichung. 85. (1) Wird auf Unterlassung oder Beseitigung oder Feststellung des Bestehens oder Nichtbestehens eines auf dieses Gesetz gegründeten Ausschließungsrechtes oder der Urheberschaft ( 19) geklagt, so hat das Gericht der obsiegenden Partei, wenn diese daran ein berechtigtes Interesse hat, auf Antrag die Befugnis zuzusprechen, das Urteil innerhalb bestimmter Frist auf Kosten des Gegners zu veröffentlichen. Die Art der Veröffentlichung ist im Urteil zu bestimmen. (2) Die Veröffentlichung umfaßt den Urteilsspruch. Auf Antrag der obsiegenden Partei kann jedoch das Gericht einen vom Urteilsspruch nach Umfang oder Wortlaut abweichenden oder ihn ergänzenden Inhalt der Veröffentlichung bestimmen. Dieser Antrag ist spätestens vier Wochen nach Rechtskraft des Urteils zu stellen. Ist der Antrag erst nach Schluß der mündlichen Streitverhandlung gestellt worden, so hat hierüber das Gericht erster Instanz nach Rechtskraft des Urteils mit Beschluß zu entscheiden. (3) Das Gericht erster Instanz hat auf Antrag der obsiegenden Partei die Kosten der Veröffentlichung festzusetzen und deren Ersatz dem Gegner aufzutragen. (4) Die Veröffentlichung auf Grund eines rechtskräftigen Urteils oder eines anderen vollstreckbaren Exekutionstitels ist vom Medienunternehmer ohne unnötigen Aufschub vorzunehmen. [ ] Anspruch auf Auskunft
17 87b. (1) Wer im Inland Werkstücke verbreitet, an denen das Verbreitungsrecht durch In-Verkehr-Bringen in einem Mitgliedstaat der Europäischen Gemeinschaft oder in einem Vertragsstaat des Europäischen Wirtschaftsraums erloschen ist ( 16 Abs. 3), hat dem Berechtigten auf Verlangen richtig und vollständig Auskunft über Hersteller, Inhalt, Herkunftsland und Menge der verbreiteten Werkstücke zu geben. Anspruch auf Auskunft hat, wem das Recht, die Werkstücke im Inland zu verbreiten, im Zeitpunkt des Erlöschens zugestanden ist. (2) Wer in einem auf dieses Gesetz gegründeten Ausschließungsrecht verletzt worden ist, kann Auskunft über den Ursprung und die Vertriebswege der rechtsverletzenden Waren und Dienstleistungen verlangen, sofern dies nicht unverhältnismäßig im Vergleich zur Schwere der Verletzung wäre und nicht gegen gesetzliche Verschwiegenheitspflichten verstoßen würde; zur Erteilung der Auskunft sind der Verletzer und die Personen verpflichtet, die gewerbsmäßig 1.rechtsverletzende Waren in ihrem Besitz gehabt, 2. rechtsverletzende Dienstleistungen in Anspruch genommen oder für Rechtsverletzungen genutzte Dienstleistungen erbracht haben. (2a) Die Pflicht zur Auskunftserteilung nach Abs. 2 umfasst, soweit angebracht, 1. die Namen und Anschriften der Hersteller, Vertreiber, Lieferanten und der anderen Vorbesitzer der Waren oder Dienstleistungen sowie der gewerblichen Abnehmer und Verkaufsstellen, für die sie bestimmt waren, 2. die Mengen der hergestellten, ausgelieferten, erhaltenen oder bestellten Waren und die Preise, die für die Waren oder Dienstleistungen bezahlt wurden. (3) Vermittler im Sinn des 81 Abs. 1a haben dem Verletzten auf dessen schriftliches und ausreichend begründetes Verlangen Auskunft über die Identität des Verletzers (Name und Anschrift) beziehungsweise die zur Feststellung des Verletzers erforderlichen Auskünfte zu geben. In die Begründung sind insbesondere hinreichend konkretisierte Angaben über die den Verdacht der Rechtsverletzung begründenden Tatsachen aufzunehmen. Der Verletzte hat dem Vermittler die angemessenen Kosten der Auskunftserteilung zu ersetzen. (4) Vertreter des Kunstmarkts, die an einer dem Folgerecht unterliegenden Veräußerung im Sinn des 16b Abs. 2 beteiligt waren, haben dem Berechtigten auf Verlangen richtig und vollständig alle Auskünfte zu geben, die für die Sicherung der Zahlung aus dieser Veräußerung erforderlich sein können. Der Anspruch erlischt, wenn die Auskünfte nicht in einem Zeitraum von drei Jahren nach der Weiterveräußerung verlangt werden.. Einstweilige Verfügungen 87c. (1) Mit Beziehung auf Ansprüche auf Unterlassung, Beseitigung, angemessenes Entgelt, Schadenersatz und Herausgabe des Gewinns nach diesem Gesetz können einstweilige Verfügungen sowohl zur Sicherung des Anspruchs selbst als auch zur Sicherung von Beweismitteln erlassen werden. [ ] (3) Zur Sicherung von Unterlassungs- und Beseitigungsansprüchen können einstweilige Verfügungen erlassen werden, auch wenn die im 381 der Exekutionsordnung bezeichneten Voraussetzungen nicht zutreffen. (4) Einstweilige Verfügungen nach Abs. 1 sind auf Antrag der gefährdeten Partei ohne Anhörung des Gegners zu erlassen, wenn der gefährdeten Partei durch eine Verzögerung wahrscheinlich ein nicht wieder zu gut machender Schaden entstünde oder wenn die Gefahr besteht, dass Beweise vernichtet werden.
18 Markenschutzgesetz 51 Markenschutzgesetz. Wer in einer der ihm aus einer Marke zustehenden Befugnisse verletzt wird oder eine solche Verletzung zu besorgen hat, kann auf Unterlassung klagen. 52 Markenschutzgesetz. (1) Der Markenverletzer ist zur Beseitigung des dem Gesetz widerstreitenden Zustandes verpflichtet. [ ] 54. (1) Der Inhaber eines Unternehmens kann auf Unterlassung ( 51) geklagt werden, wenn eine Markenverletzung im Betrieb seines Unternehmens von einem Bediensteten oder Beauftragten begangen wird oder droht. Er ist zur Beseitigung ( 52) verpflichtet, wenn er Eigentümer der Eingriffsgegenstände oder Eingriffsmittel ist. 55. Im übrigen gilt 119 Abs. 2 (Ausschluß der Öffentlichkeit), 149 (Urteilsveröffentlichung), 151 (Rechnungslegung) und 154 (Verjährung) des Patentgesetzes 1970, BGBl. Nr. 259, sinngemäß. [ ] 56. (1) Mit Beziehung auf Ansprüche auf Unterlassung, Beseitigung, angemessenes Entgelt, Schadenersatz und Herausgabe des Gewinns nach diesem Gesetz können einstweilige Verfügungen sowohl zur Sicherung des Anspruchs selbst als auch zur Sicherung von Beweismitteln erlassen werden. Jedoch kann eine einstweilige Verfügung, die auf eine seit mehr als fünf Jahren eingetragene Marke gestützt wird, nur erlassen werden, wenn glaubhaft gemacht ist, dass der Löschungsgrund nach 33a nicht vorliegt. [ ] (3) Zur Sicherung von Unterlassungs- und Beseitigungsansprüchen können einstweilige Verfügungen erlassen werden, auch wenn die im 381 der Exekutionsordnung bezeichneten Voraussetzungen nicht zutreffen. (4) Einstweilige Verfügungen nach Abs. 1 sind auf Antrag der gefährdeten Partei ohne Anhörung des Gegners zu erlassen, wenn der gefährdeten Partei durch eine Verzögerung wahrscheinlich ein nicht wieder gut zu machender Schaden entstünde oder wenn die Gefahr besteht, dass Beweise vernichtet werden.
19 UWG 1 (1) Anyone who in the course of business 1. Acts of Unfair Competition Unfair Commercial Practices 1. resorts to an unfair commercial practice or another unfair practise which is likely to distort not only insignificantly [=materially] the competition to the detriment of enterprises or 2. uses an unfair commercial practise contrary to the requirements of professional diligence and [which] is with regard to the respective product suitable to materially distort the economic behaviour of the average consumer whom it reaches or to whom it is addressed, may be sued for a cease-and-desist order and in case of fault for payment of damages. [ ] Preliminary Injunctions 24 UWG. Preliminary injunctions may be issued in order to secure the claims to cease and desist as set forth in this Act even if the preconditions referred to in Section 381 of the Enforcement Act do not apply. 25 UWG. [ ] Publication of Sentence (3) Where, [ ], a suit for a cease-and-desist order is undertaken, the court shall, upon application, authorise the prevailing party, if such [party] has a legitimate interest in it, to have the sentence published at the opposing party's expense within a specified time limit. (4) The publication shall comprise the wording of the sentence. The manner of publication shall be defined in the sentence. (5) In civil proceeding[s], the court may, upon application by the prevailing party, define a text of the publication which varies from or supplements the scope or wording of the sentence. Such appli-cation shall be filed not later than four weeks after the sentence has become final. If such application is only filed after the end of the [first instance] hearing, it shall be decided by the court of first instance by an order after the sentence has become final. (6) Upon application of the prevailing party, the court of first instance shall specify the costs of publication and shall order the opposing party with the reimbursement. Upon application of the prevailing party, [the court] can order the loosing party to a prepayment of the presumable costs for publication in a period of four weeks. From an order of prepayment of [publication] costs has to be refrained if the loosing party certifies that the circumstances of its income and property do not suffice such a payment for the time being. The course of the time period for the publication of the sentence shall be stayed by the application for the deposit of the presumable costs of publication until the day of the arrival of the prepayment or the dismissal of this application. After publication was effected the prevailing party has under notification of the actual accrued costs to refund to the loosing party an exceeding amount including interest. (7) Publication based on a final sentence or another enforceable writ of execution shall be made by the media entrepreneur without any unnecessary delay.
1 von 17 Bundesgesetz, mit dem bestimmte rechtliche Aspekte des elektronischen Geschäfts- und Rechtsverkehrs geregelt werden (E-Commerce-Gesetz - ECG) StF: BGBl. I Nr. 152/2001 (NR: GP XXI RV 817 AB 853
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