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An online auction site, being also host provider, is liable for the copyright infringement

The German Supreme Court decided (in a ruling from May 16, 2013, reference number I ZR 216/11) that the online auction site is liable for the copyright infringement committed by an auctioneer.

The latter offered child high chairs, knowing that he violated the protected trade mark. The rights holder decided to seek for an injunction, because of the intentional nature of the infringement. In the present case the online auction site ran an 'ad words' campaign and promoted the articles of his auctions. The advertisements the user receives, after entering the search term, are connected with a link to the content on the online auction site. Due to this promotion of the articles, the online auction site, according to the German Supreme Court, is obliged to control every single offer. The due diligence obligations are reasonable and do not harm the business of the online auction site.