Online intermediary liability has been debated in the courts since the internet came into being.
More than 15 years ago, both the United States and European Union enacted legislation to shield online service providers from liability for illegal content in certain circumstances. Since then there has been a succession of court cases around the circumstances in which the available defences under these rules can apply.
Despite the age of the law and the judicial evalutation of their principles a number of questions remain about the circumstances surrounding when an intermediary will and will not be liable for unlawful content posted on its servers of via its networks. This note introduces the concept of online internediary liaibilty and compares the EU and US defences available.