Pornhub and other adult sites sue EU over landmark digital content law

Lawsuits challenging legislation come after similar cases taken by online retailers Amazon and Zalando.

Pornhub is arguing it does not meet the criteria for a 'very large online platform' [File: Ethan Miller/Getty Images via AFP]

Pornhub and two other adult sites are suing the European Union over a landmark digital content law that imposes age verification and other obligations on large platforms.

The European Commission last year named Pornhub, Xvideos and Stripchat as belonging to the category of “very large online platform” under the Digital Services Act, which imposes certain obligations on sites with more than 45 million monthly visitors.

Brussels has listed 22 platforms that are subject to the rules – which include the need to establish age verification measures to protect minors and create a library of adverts published on their sites – including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and X.

Companies that fall foul of the law can be fined up to six percent of their global turnover.

Pornhub’s parent company, Aylo, said the EU Commission had incorrectly designated the platform, as the site only attracts around 32 million users.

“We believe the European Commission erred in its calculation of our user numbers. We also consider illegal the requirement … [that an] advertising repository must be made publicly accessible,” it said in a statement provided to multiple media outlets.

Efforts to contact Xvideos and Stripchat for comment were unsuccessful.

The lawsuits come on the heels of similar legal challenges by Amazon and German online fashion retailer Zalando, which have argued they do not meet the criteria for a very large online platform under the act.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies