User Generated Content & the Law
The term 'User-Generated Content' has come to be adopted for everything from Flickr photos and YouTube videos to blog comments, Twitter posts and reviews on Yelp or Amazon. You only have to consider today's best known websites from YouTube and Google to MySpace and Facebook, eBay and Wikipedia to see the success of such websites. There has been a shift from 'one-way' portals to the user content frameworks we now rely upon. There are significant implications for corporate life and for media.
However there are legal issues which relate to current UGC activity and there are laws which will govern emerging business models which are formed to cater for UGC engagement. User-generated media is creating new patterns in content aggregation and composition that capture and distribute human intellect in ways that are fundamentally different. From news gathering -which bring forth impartiality issues, for example, the recent Iranian unrest and the role of social networks, to travel and hotel guide uploads from consumers, questions needs to be asked - Where does legal liability begin and end? If UGC causes loss, who can sue and is the originator liable?
This book examines how the law can both control and ensure positive development of user generated models on the Internet.