April 15, 2024

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Pornhub Challenges EU Regulations Amid the DSA Dispute

Pornhub, one of the globe’s most visited adult websites, is resisting newly introduced EU regulations, particularly concerning age verification requirements under the Digital Services Act (DSA). The DSA imposes strict obligations on platforms classified as Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs), a categorization Pornhub vehemently contests.

According to EU standards, a VLOP must draw over 45 million monthly visitors from Europe, a threshold Pornhub disputes, asserting the European Commission misjudged its user base. On March 1, Pornhub’s parent company, Aylo, initiated legal action by filing a challenge with the EU’s General Court in Luxembourg. Technius, the parent entity of Stripchat, and WebGroup Czech Republic, the operator of XVideos, have also lodged similar cases.

The DSA endeavours to bolster online protections for EU citizens, compelling VLOPs to enact rigorous content moderation and promptly remove illicit material. Moreover, platforms are required to establish a publicly accessible advertising database, a mandate Aylo deems legally questionable.

By April 20, platforms must furnish detailed risk mitigation plans, addressing concerns such as violence against women and the safeguarding of minors. Breaches of the DSA could result in fines reaching up to 6% of a company’s global revenue.

Beyond the DSA, tech juggernauts confront additional regulatory hurdles under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), targeting firms labelled as “gatekeepers” like Apple. Notably, Apple’s decision to prohibit Fortnite-maker Epic Games from launching its proprietary marketplace on iOS devices in Europe has sparked controversy.

The DMA aims to foster competition by opening big tech app stores to other market participants. The EU intends to scrutinise Apple’s actions to ensure alignment with the DMA’s objectives.

Legal disputes between tech entities and EU regulations underscore the evolving dynamics of digital governance as authorities strive to strike a balance between consumer safeguarding, competition enhancement, and innovation promotion in the digital realm.