Copyright on E-Commerce Third-Party Platforms: From Liability to Accountability
Prof. dr. Hong XUE Director of Institute for Internet Policy & Law Beijing Normal University

Abstract: E-commerce third-party platforms provide transactional media, facilities, rules and related services to the transactional parties in e-commerce to enable them conduct the transactions among themselves. Platform services like Amazon or Alibaba can develop into enormous economic size. Meanwhile, they are facing considerable pressure from copyright industry.

These platforms are primarily pushed to discipline their subscribers against piracy in the liability regime. Under the intermediary liability that is getting tougher, the platforms incline to implement strict and indiscriminative policies and rules onto their subscribers to fulfill legal obligations and thus immune themselves from legal liabilities, even irrespective of the boundaries of legal rights and the potential legitimate defenses. Law enforcement’s reliance on the private ordering on the platform may breach the legal principles such as due process and balance © Prof. dr. Hong XUE 2017 of rights and obligations. The caveats of the public-private partnership between platform governance and law enforcement and private ordering of public interests shouldn’t be undermined.

Compared with the liability regime, platforms’ de facto governance power, based on their unique technological capacity and management status, in its own system can operate more reasonably in the accountability regime. Copyright issues on a platform involve many stakeholders, such as copyright owners, businesses, private users and the platform services. Instead of the external pressure and punishment, the multi-stakeholder governance enables to develop and improve the rules, polies and ecosystem on copyright protection through bottom-up and internalized accountability mechanisms. In the accountability model, the platforms are expected to behave reasonably and sensibly, balancing their own interests with the public good.

The research uses the first-hand information acquired from drafting the Chinese E-Commerce Law with the Chinese National People’s Congress and examines a couple of new laws on e-commerce, cyber-security and data protection particularly from the emerging economies.                                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Speaker Bio: Prof. Dr. Hong XUE is Beijing Normal University Law Professor, Director of Institute for Internet Policy & Law (IIPL) and Co-Director of United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and Beijing Normal University (BNU) Joint Certificate Program on International ECommerce Law. Prof. Xue is a China-Law-Society elected Top Ten Nationally Distinguished Young Jurists and enjoys the State Council Special Governmental Allowance. She is the National Expert on E-Commerce appointed by the China’s Ministry of Commerce and one of the primary legal experts appointed by the Chinese National People’s Congress to draft the Chinese ECommerce Law. She is an Expert Member of the Advisory Committee of the United Nations Network of Experts for Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific (UNNExT) and 2 nd APEC ECommerce Business Alliance Expert Council. She is an arbitrator at China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), Nanjing International Arbitration Institute, Shenzhen Arbitration Commission, as well as a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) neutral at World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Asia Domain Names Dispute Resolution Center (ADNDRC). She is the Chair of Council of Chinese Domain Name Users Alliance (CDNUA) and the Faculty Chair of Asia Pacific Internet Leadership Project (APILP) Beijing. She is on the Editorial Board of World Intellectual Property Journal, the Advisory Panel of the Indian Journal of Intellectual Property Law, the Expert Advisory Board of Diplo Foundation. Prof. Xue had taught in law schools in Australia, United States and Hong Kong and was the Residential Fellow of Yale Information Society Project, ICANN ccNSO Councillor and the Chinese Coordinator for Global Academy on Access to Knowledge. Prof. Xue researches international trade law, information technology law, electronic commerce law, intellectual property law and Internet governance and had published many books and journal articles.

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