Web 2.0 and User-Generated Content: Legal Challenges in the New Frontier

Journal of Information, Law and Technology, Vol. 2, 2007

22 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2008 Last revised: 23 Dec 2013

See all articles by Carlisle E. George

Carlisle E. George

Middlesex University

Jackie Scerri

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

The advent of Web 2.0 has enabled a host of new services and possibilities on the Internet. Among many new possibilities, users can easily upload online content that can be accessed, viewed and downloaded by other users around the globe. This has resulted in an explosive growth of User-Generated Content (UGC) which although creating exciting opportunities for users, presents many challenges, especially related to law and regulation. This paper discusses Web 2.0, UGC and the legal /regulatory challenges that have arisen in this new 'frontier' characterised by having a liberating democratic ethos (on one hand) but also sometimes tainted with illegal activity and disregard for accepted norms. Citing various researched case studies and legal cases, the paper highlights possible 'dangers' where traditional legal rules may be inadequate to address certain types of online activity, and discusses many of the legal challenges which this new frontier brings. These challenges are widespread and relate to intellectual property, liability, defamation, pornography, hate speech, privacy, confidentiality and jurisdiction among others. The paper also discusses the role of intermediaries (web hosts and service providers) and whether they can aid in effectively policing the new Web 2.0 frontier. Finally the paper attempts to discuss possible solutions for the way forward.

Keywords: Web 2.0, Internet, User Generated Content, Legal Rules, Protection, Intellectual Property

JEL Classification: O34, O33, K39

Suggested Citation

George, Carlisle E. and Scerri, Jackie, Web 2.0 and User-Generated Content: Legal Challenges in the New Frontier (2007). Journal of Information, Law and Technology, Vol. 2, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1290715

Carlisle E. George (Contact Author)

Middlesex University ( email )

The Burroughs
London, NW4 4BT
United Kingdom

Jackie Scerri

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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