Taming the “Free”: Content moderation in the Fediverse and the Role of the DSA: A practical guide for server administrators in the Fediverse external link

Rijnswou, E. van & Verboom, C.
2024

Abstract

The current legal framework for content moderation in the Digital Services Act (DSA) is focused on centralized digital services. This makes it challenging for decentralized services, such as instances in the Fediverse, to know how to comply with the DSA. To address this issue, this report offers a practical guide for server administrators in the Fediverse to meet the DSA's content moderation obligations. In this practical guide, you will find: - categorization of Fediverse instances under the DSA; - content moderation obligations for all intermediary services; - content moderations obligations for hosting services in particular; as well as - for online platforms in general. In this report instances in the Fediverse are classified as hosting services, to be precise, as online platforms. As an online platform, instances will have to comply with the general content moderation obligations for all intermediary services, as well as the additional obligations for hosting services and online platforms. At the same time, micro or small enterprises are exempt from the additional obligations that online platforms have, which means that instances meeting this exemption are not subject to the additional obligations. To simplify the steps that a server administrator can take to comply with the DSA, this report provides checkboxes to help server administrators determine if they fall under the DSA and, if so, what their obligations are. Additionally, platforms are encouraged to take on further responsibilities by, for example, adopting voluntary codes of conduct. We also conclude that even if an instance does not meet the exact requirements of a micro or small enterprise, full compliance with the additional obligations for online platforms may be less of a focus point for enforcement if you are a relatively small service. Finally, and most importantly, we advise server administrators of small instances to provide transparency in their content moderation practices. This report is written by Emese van Rijnswou and Charlotte Verboom under the supervision of Dr. João Pedro Quintais & Ot van Daalen of the Glushko & Samuelson Information Law and Policy Lab (ILP Lab) of the Institute for Information Law (IViR) of the University of Amsterdam. The ILP Lab is a student-run, IViR-led institution which develops and promotes research-based policy solutions that protect fundamental rights and freedoms in the field of European information law. The report has been written in partnership with the DSA Observatory and European Digital Rights Initiative (EDRi). It reflects the recommendations and conclusions of the authors of the ILP Lab.

Bibtex

Report{nokey, title = {Taming the “Free”: Content moderation in the Fediverse and the Role of the DSA: A practical guide for server administrators in the Fediverse}, author = {Rijnswou, E. van and Verboom, C.}, url = {https://ilplab.nl/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2024/06/Final-Content-Moderation-in-the-Fediverse-2.pdf}, year = {2024}, date = {2024-04-24}, abstract = {The current legal framework for content moderation in the Digital Services Act (DSA) is focused on centralized digital services. This makes it challenging for decentralized services, such as instances in the Fediverse, to know how to comply with the DSA. To address this issue, this report offers a practical guide for server administrators in the Fediverse to meet the DSA\'s content moderation obligations. In this practical guide, you will find: - categorization of Fediverse instances under the DSA; - content moderation obligations for all intermediary services; - content moderations obligations for hosting services in particular; as well as - for online platforms in general. In this report instances in the Fediverse are classified as hosting services, to be precise, as online platforms. As an online platform, instances will have to comply with the general content moderation obligations for all intermediary services, as well as the additional obligations for hosting services and online platforms. At the same time, micro or small enterprises are exempt from the additional obligations that online platforms have, which means that instances meeting this exemption are not subject to the additional obligations. To simplify the steps that a server administrator can take to comply with the DSA, this report provides checkboxes to help server administrators determine if they fall under the DSA and, if so, what their obligations are. Additionally, platforms are encouraged to take on further responsibilities by, for example, adopting voluntary codes of conduct. We also conclude that even if an instance does not meet the exact requirements of a micro or small enterprise, full compliance with the additional obligations for online platforms may be less of a focus point for enforcement if you are a relatively small service. Finally, and most importantly, we advise server administrators of small instances to provide transparency in their content moderation practices. This report is written by Emese van Rijnswou and Charlotte Verboom under the supervision of Dr. João Pedro Quintais & Ot van Daalen of the Glushko & Samuelson Information Law and Policy Lab (ILP Lab) of the Institute for Information Law (IViR) of the University of Amsterdam. The ILP Lab is a student-run, IViR-led institution which develops and promotes research-based policy solutions that protect fundamental rights and freedoms in the field of European information law. The report has been written in partnership with the DSA Observatory and European Digital Rights Initiative (EDRi). It reflects the recommendations and conclusions of the authors of the ILP Lab.}, }

Contesting personalized recommender systems: a cross-country analysis of user preferences external link

Starke, C., Metikoš, L., Helberger, N. & Vreese, C.H. de
Information, Communication & Society, 2024

Abstract

Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube wield substantial influence over digital information flows using sophisticated algorithmic recommender systems (RS). As these systems curate personalized content, concerns have emerged about their propensity to amplify polarizing or inappropriate content, spread misinformation, and infringe on users’ privacy. To address these concerns, the European Union (EU) has recently introduced a new regulatory framework through the Digital Services Act (DSA). These proposed policies are designed to bolster user agency by offering contestability mechanisms against personalized RS. As their effectiveness ultimately requires individual users to take specific actions, this empirical study investigates users’ intention to contest personalized RS. The results of a pre-registered survey across six countries – Brazil, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the UK, and the USA – involving 6,217 respondents yield key insights: (1) Approximately 20% of users would opt out of using personalized RS, (2) the intention for algorithmic contestation is associated with individual characteristics such as users’ attitudes towards and awareness of personalized RS as well as their privacy concerns, (3) German respondents are particularly inclined to contest personalized RS. We conclude that amending Art. 38 of the DSA may contribute to leveraging its effectiveness in fostering accessible user contestation and algorithmic transparency.

Algorithmic contestation, Digital services act, Personalisation, recommender systems

Bibtex

Article{nokey, title = {Contesting personalized recommender systems: a cross-country analysis of user preferences}, author = {Starke, C. and Metikoš, L. and Helberger, N. and Vreese, C.H. de}, url = {https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1369118X.2024.2363926}, doi = {https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2024.2363926}, year = {2024}, date = {2024-07-03}, journal = {Information, Communication & Society}, abstract = {Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube wield substantial influence over digital information flows using sophisticated algorithmic recommender systems (RS). As these systems curate personalized content, concerns have emerged about their propensity to amplify polarizing or inappropriate content, spread misinformation, and infringe on users’ privacy. To address these concerns, the European Union (EU) has recently introduced a new regulatory framework through the Digital Services Act (DSA). These proposed policies are designed to bolster user agency by offering contestability mechanisms against personalized RS. As their effectiveness ultimately requires individual users to take specific actions, this empirical study investigates users’ intention to contest personalized RS. The results of a pre-registered survey across six countries – Brazil, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the UK, and the USA – involving 6,217 respondents yield key insights: (1) Approximately 20% of users would opt out of using personalized RS, (2) the intention for algorithmic contestation is associated with individual characteristics such as users’ attitudes towards and awareness of personalized RS as well as their privacy concerns, (3) German respondents are particularly inclined to contest personalized RS. We conclude that amending Art. 38 of the DSA may contribute to leveraging its effectiveness in fostering accessible user contestation and algorithmic transparency.}, keywords = {Algorithmic contestation, Digital services act, Personalisation, recommender systems}, }

EU copyright law roundup – second trimester of 2024 external link

Trapova, A. & Quintais, J.
Kluwer Copyright Blog, 2024

Bibtex

Online publication{nokey, title = {EU copyright law roundup – second trimester of 2024}, author = {Trapova, A. and Quintais, J.}, url = {https://copyrightblog.kluweriplaw.com/2024/07/03/eu-copyright-law-roundup-second-trimester-of-2024/}, year = {2024}, date = {2024-07-03}, journal = {Kluwer Copyright Blog}, }

Het ‘communitybeleid’ van Airbnb: de verbintenisrechtelijke binding aan servicenormen

Mak, V. & Toepoel, I.
Tijdschrift voor Consumentenrecht & handelspraktijken, iss. : 3, num: 15, pp: 115-123, 2024

Abstract

Onlineplatforms hanteren vaak servicenormen als aanvulling op algemene voorwaarden voor gebruikers. Airbnb noemt dergelijke servicenormen ‘communitybeleid’. In dit artikel onderzoeken de auteurs of gebruikers op grond van deze servicenormen het platform aansprakelijk kunnen houden voor niet-nakoming van de daarin opgenomen regels door de wederpartij. Kan een gast die accommodatie boekt via Airbnb het platform aansprakelijk houden als de host niet voldoet aan regels met betrekking tot de juistheid en transparantie van advertenties opgenomen in het communitybeleid? Deze vraag wordt onderzocht naar Nederlands recht. De auteurs concluderen dat de servicenormen als aanvullende voorwaarden onderdeel kunnen worden van de overeenkomst tussen gebruiker en platform. Voor het aansprakelijk houden van het platform voor niet-naleving door andere gebruikers biedt het huidige recht niettemin weinig aanknopingspunten. Gezien de sterke positie die platforms innemen in het economische verkeer zou het wenselijk zijn daarin verandering te brengen, bijvoorbeeld door het aannemen van een zorgplicht voor onlineplatforms of het uitbreiden van de omstandigheden waaronder gedragscodes juridisch bindend worden geacht.

Bibtex

Article{nokey, title = {Het ‘communitybeleid’ van Airbnb: de verbintenisrechtelijke binding aan servicenormen}, author = {Mak, V. and Toepoel, I.}, year = {2024}, date = {2024-07-02}, journal = {Tijdschrift voor Consumentenrecht & handelspraktijken}, issue = {3}, number = {15}, abstract = {Onlineplatforms hanteren vaak servicenormen als aanvulling op algemene voorwaarden voor gebruikers. Airbnb noemt dergelijke servicenormen ‘communitybeleid’. In dit artikel onderzoeken de auteurs of gebruikers op grond van deze servicenormen het platform aansprakelijk kunnen houden voor niet-nakoming van de daarin opgenomen regels door de wederpartij. Kan een gast die accommodatie boekt via Airbnb het platform aansprakelijk houden als de host niet voldoet aan regels met betrekking tot de juistheid en transparantie van advertenties opgenomen in het communitybeleid? Deze vraag wordt onderzocht naar Nederlands recht. De auteurs concluderen dat de servicenormen als aanvullende voorwaarden onderdeel kunnen worden van de overeenkomst tussen gebruiker en platform. Voor het aansprakelijk houden van het platform voor niet-naleving door andere gebruikers biedt het huidige recht niettemin weinig aanknopingspunten. Gezien de sterke positie die platforms innemen in het economische verkeer zou het wenselijk zijn daarin verandering te brengen, bijvoorbeeld door het aannemen van een zorgplicht voor onlineplatforms of het uitbreiden van de omstandigheden waaronder gedragscodes juridisch bindend worden geacht.}, }

The CJEU’s Unintelligible Impairment of the Financial Health of EU Performers: Ever-Increasing Suspense in Neighbouring Rights

GRUR International, 2024

Abstract

With the RAAP ruling in 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered a judgment with a far-reaching impact, both on the autonomy of Member States within the making of reservations under international treaties, and on revenues for collecting societies and neighbouring rightsholders in the EU. The controversial part of the judgment states that entering reservations on the granting of equitable remuneration for neighbouring rights on the basis of international treaties should only take place at EU level. This effectively leaves no autonomy to Member States within the principle of reciprocity, contrary to former popular belief by many Member States and scholars. The US has entered reservations with regard to EU countries under Art. 15(3) WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), thus no remuneration is disbursed for performances by EU artists in the US. Due to the US repertoire’s large presence in the EU, the latter’s performers will be left with a considerably smaller share of the revenues to be distributed by EU collecting societies. The European Commission must urgently finish the ongoing research and consultation on RAAP. Right now, too many requests by interest groups remain unanswered. The recommended (and hoped for) route is for the EU to invoke the principle of reciprocity and enter reservations for other WPPT parties that have entered such reservations with regard to EU countries. An extensive arrangement regarding reservations is necessary, also regarding situations where the relationship between fundamental rights and reciprocity provisions is currently unknown.

Bibtex

Article{nokey, title = {The CJEU’s Unintelligible Impairment of the Financial Health of EU Performers: Ever-Increasing Suspense in Neighbouring Rights}, author = {Valk, E.G.}, doi = {https://doi.org/10.1093/grurint/ikae077}, year = {2024}, date = {2024-06-18}, journal = {GRUR International}, abstract = {With the RAAP ruling in 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered a judgment with a far-reaching impact, both on the autonomy of Member States within the making of reservations under international treaties, and on revenues for collecting societies and neighbouring rightsholders in the EU. The controversial part of the judgment states that entering reservations on the granting of equitable remuneration for neighbouring rights on the basis of international treaties should only take place at EU level. This effectively leaves no autonomy to Member States within the principle of reciprocity, contrary to former popular belief by many Member States and scholars. The US has entered reservations with regard to EU countries under Art. 15(3) WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), thus no remuneration is disbursed for performances by EU artists in the US. Due to the US repertoire’s large presence in the EU, the latter’s performers will be left with a considerably smaller share of the revenues to be distributed by EU collecting societies. The European Commission must urgently finish the ongoing research and consultation on RAAP. Right now, too many requests by interest groups remain unanswered. The recommended (and hoped for) route is for the EU to invoke the principle of reciprocity and enter reservations for other WPPT parties that have entered such reservations with regard to EU countries. An extensive arrangement regarding reservations is necessary, also regarding situations where the relationship between fundamental rights and reciprocity provisions is currently unknown.}, }

Mapping the Impact of Share Alike/Copyleft Licensing on Machine Learning and Generative AI download

Abstract

The rise of generative artificial intelligence systems has raised a number of copyright issues. Some of the most hotly contested questions revolve around the use of copyrighted works to train AI models. One particular problem that has received relatively little attention is how AI training intersects with openly licensed works. To better understand the dynamics at play, Open Future commissioned the Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam (IVIR) to conduct a study on the impact of Share Alike/CopyLeft (SA/CL) licensing on machine learning and generative AI.

Bibtex

Report{nokey, title = {Mapping the Impact of Share Alike/Copyleft Licensing on Machine Learning and Generative AI}, author = {Szkalej, K. and Senftleben, M.}, url = {https://www.ivir.nl/publicaties/mapping-the-impact-of-share-alike-copyleft-licensing-on-machine-learning-and-generative-ai/share-alike-and-ml/}, year = {2024}, date = {2024-06-12}, abstract = {The rise of generative artificial intelligence systems has raised a number of copyright issues. Some of the most hotly contested questions revolve around the use of copyrighted works to train AI models. One particular problem that has received relatively little attention is how AI training intersects with openly licensed works. To better understand the dynamics at play, Open Future commissioned the Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam (IVIR) to conduct a study on the impact of Share Alike/CopyLeft (SA/CL) licensing on machine learning and generative AI.}, }

From the DMCA to the DSA: A Transatlantic Dialogue on Online Platform Regulation and Copyright external link

Verfassungsbooks, 2024, Berlin, ISBN: 9783759825957

Bibtex

Book{nokey, title = {From the DMCA to the DSA: A Transatlantic Dialogue on Online Platform Regulation and Copyright}, author = {Quintais, J.}, url = {https://intr2dok.vifa-recht.de/receive/mir_mods_00017202}, doi = {https://doi.org/10.17176/20240429-081042-0 }, year = {2024}, date = {2024-06-10}, }

Annotatie Hoge Raad 12 november 2021 (A Venue Entertainment e.a. / SENA) download

Nederlandse Jurisprudentie, iss. : 14, num: 136, pp: 3249-3250, 2024

Bibtex

Case note{nokey, title = {Annotatie Hoge Raad 12 november 2021 (A Venue Entertainment e.a. / SENA)}, author = {Hugenholtz, P.}, url = {https://www.ivir.nl/publications/annotatie-hoge-raad-12-november-2021-a-venue-entertainment-e-a-sena/annotatie_nj_2024_136/}, year = {2024}, date = {2024-06-04}, journal = {Nederlandse Jurisprudentie}, issue = {14}, number = {136}, }