3 regulatory challenges for platforms - Challenge 3: Content recognition technologies 29 March 18

In recent years, EU and national regulators have put forward different initiatives specifically targeting online platforms. Most of these initiatives try to ensure that platforms are:

  • more active in fighting illegal content; and
  • more transparent and fair towards consumers and businesses offering products and services.

Cullen International's European Digital Economy service covers national initiatives of this kind in nine EU countries.


This is the third of three benchmarks we are releasing on national developments affecting platforms in Europe. Over three weeks, we are sharing with you one benchmark per week.

Challenge 3: Content recognition technologies

EU institutions are currently debating whether certain platforms such as video-sharing should take measures, such as content recognition (i.e. filtering) technologies, to prevent the availability of copyright-infringing content.

This benchmark summarises recent national court decisions on whether platforms should implement content recognition technologies or not.

Our research shows that:

  • Spanish and French courts are reluctant to impose on platforms benefiting from the liability exemption in the e-Commerce Directive (eCD) an obligation to apply filtering technologies; and
  • according to the most recent decisions by Italian and German courts, even if platforms benefit from the liability exemption in the eCD, they can be obliged to apply filtering technologies. 

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