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Online content: risks and rewards

05 June 2015

With digital content becoming ever more popular and users becoming more sophisticated, all those involved in the online publishing industry need to be aware of the risks that come with the rewards of digital content.

As user generated content (“UGC”) appears on more and more websites, operators of those websites have to decide how to deal with such content. Setting up procedures to remove undesirable or illegal content from a website may seem the obvious choice but the desire to protect a brand in this way can create legal problems for the operator of the relevant website.


It is clear enough to a brand owner that if they publish content on a website there will be a variety of rules with which to comply ranging from intellectual property and data laws to the more recent consumer protection legislation. However, many companies want to take advantage of the creativity and honesty that comes from UGC. As this type of content is not created by the operator of the website, does the operator have to take responsibility for that content? This inbrief sets out an overview of the legal risks of UGC and the related legal defences.

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