Legal Aspects of User Created Content
87 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2009
Date Written: November 3, 2009
The active and productive user or prosumer challenges fundamental concepts of traditional "information law", such as copyright law, audiovisual law, e-commerce law and data protection law. Information law was clearly not written with UCC in mind and a situation in which the division of tasks between "broadcasters", "publishers", " hosts" and "data controllers" is no longer self-evident. In this chapter, we examine some legal implications when applying existing information law to amateur creators and User Created Content platforms. More specifically we look at UCC in the context of copyright law, at audiovisual law and the question of UCC platforms or even individual amateur users are considered "broadcasters" in the sense of the law (with all the consequences thereof). We examine the liability of UCC platforms for user generated content under E-Commerce law, whether European data protection law is fit to protect personal data on Social Network Sites and what European contract law has to offer to guarantee the fairness of agreements between UCC platforms and users. We also make concrete suggestions for a more flexible and supportive legal environment.
The chapter is part of a larger study "User Created Content: Supporting a Participative Information Economy" for the European Commission.
Keywords: User Created Content, copyright law, liability for user created content, audiovisual law, contract law, data protection, users as producers, minors
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By Mira Burri