AIM Statement on ITRE/JURI opinions for the Digital Services Act
Brussels, 4 October 2021 – AIM, the European Brands Association, welcomes the adoption last week by the Industry (ITRE) and Legal Affairs (JURI) Committees of the European Parliament of opinions setting out their views on the Commission’s proposal for a Digital Services Act (DSA), released in December 2020, aimed to feed into the Parliament’s negotiating position on this draft legislation.
Several proposed changes introduced in the ITRE/JURI opinions are particularly welcome, including inter alia:
- The specification made in the JURI opinion that a trusted flagger can either represent collective interests or be an individual right holder, ensuring that those with the relevant expertise are called upon to authenticate their products.
- The inclusion in the JURI opinion of an obligation on information society service providers to permanently delete illegal content on their services after becoming aware of its illegal nature.
- The inclusion in the ITRE opinion of an obligation on intermediary service providers to ban repeat offenders from using their services.
- The introduction in the JURI opinion of an obligation on hosting service providers to inform consumers who have purchased illegal goods without undue delay after becoming aware of their illegality.
AIM therefore calls on members of the Internal Market (IMCO) Committee of the European Parliament – the lead parliamentary committee on this file – to incorporate those changes into their report which they will adopt on 6th November.
AIM has some reservations, however, over several suggestions made in ITRE/JURI opinions and which we’d urge IMCO members to disregard in their report, notably:
- Lay down specific and differentiated timelines for the removal of illegal content based on the nature of its illegality, which would risk products that are obviously illegal not being removed rapidly, even where there is operational ability to do so.
- Entitle micro or small and medium enterprises to apply for a waiver of applying due diligence obligations, such as putting in place a notice and action mechanism and taking risk assessment and mitigation measures. Online SMEs can have important reach, permitting massive volumes of offers for illegal content. To exempt them from legal and business responsibilities to the detriment of SME manufacturers faced with exponential online growth of counterfeiting, their offline competitors, and ultimately of the EU’s citizens, will lead only to great consumer and financial harm.
- Limit the scope of the Know-Your-Business Customer (KYBC) requirement to verify the identity of their traders to online marketplaces only, whereas it should apply to all intermediary service providers to avoid rogue traders from simply moving their illegal activities to other types of intermediaries.
- Making any stay-down mechanism put in place by platforms to prevent the reappearance of content previously found to be illegal voluntary: once identified as illegal, it should be mandatory to prevent that illegal content from constantly reappearing online.
- Introducing additional obligations specifically targeting online marketplaces, whereas such obligations should apply to all intermediary service providers.
We are hopeful that IMCO members will take these views into account as they now consider (compromise) amendments to the IMCO draft report. Only then will we be able to ensure a clean and fair online space in which consumers are preserved from illegal goods.
For further information on AIM’s views on the DSA, please refer to our comments on the amendments put forward to the draft IMCO report. We stand ready to provide further clarifications as needed.
For further information, please contact: Amaury Libbrecht
Tel: +32 2 736 03 05 • Email: email@example.com
AIM (Association des Industries de Marque) is the European Brands Association, which represents manufacturers of branded consumer goods in Europe on key issues that affect their ability to design, distribute and market their brands. AIM’s membership comprises 2500 businesses ranging from SMEs to multinationals, directly or indirectly through its corporate and national association members.