Develop '09: Media lawyer offers advice on user generated content

Sheridans: “UGC providers must remain vigilant”

Speaking at the Develop Conference 2009, Tahir Basheer, a partner at media lawyers Sheridans, has warned that those allowing for user generated content must remain vigilant to avoid prosecution.

"UGC providers must remain vigilant, particularly if there are any unmodified UGC postings," said Basheer, in a panel titled ‘User generated content – The legal consequences’, which looked at the complex issues that surround the increasing value of virtual goods and consumer created creations.

"If you moderate your UGC before posting it, perhaps for a quality control perspective, the trouble is that if there is a legal issue and you have vetted it, you are involved in proceeding," added Basheer. “Therefore, you should certainly think about outsourcing some of that vetting.

"You should also consider not taking ownership of the content, and negotiate with rights holders on rights clearance issues. It’s also best to limit the length of any uploaded video and music to just excerpts, and of course restricting users to streaming really helps."

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