Social media and user-generated content
Produced in partnership with Squire Patton Boggs

The following TMT practice note produced in partnership with Squire Patton Boggs provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Social media and user-generated content
  • Social media
  • User-generated content
  • Legal risks
  • UGC––copying and communicating to the public
  • DSM Copyright Directive—Directive (EU) 2019/790
  • UGC––use of trade marks
  • UGC containing personal data
  • Defamatory UGC material
  • UGC––the tort of malicious falsehood
  • More...

Social media and user-generated content

This Practice Note examines the legal risks associated with leveraging social media and user-generated content (UGC) and provides practical guidance as to how parties engaged in such activities can mitigate those risks.

Social media

Social media is an increasingly popular means of communicating online. Based on user participation and interaction, social media takes a variety of forms, including:

  1. online social and business networking (eg Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram)

  2. online blogs (eg Twitter, Blogger.com)

  3. online forums (eg Mumsnet, Reddit)

  4. online shops and auctions (eg eBay, Amazon)

  5. online digital media sharing (eg YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr)

  6. online reference texts (eg Wikipedia)

  7. online games and applications (eg World of Warcraft)

User-generated content

Increasingly, businesses are encouraging consumers to contribute material to branded social media platforms and are incorporating these contributions into consumer-focused advertising and marketing campaigns. Social media content submitted by consumers is termed UGC. The benefits of using UGC for businesses include building brand awareness by boosting social media reach, connecting with the target audience and gaining a better understanding of the target audience.

This Practice Note refers to those who create or submit UGC or interact with social media as 'consumers'. Businesses leveraging (using) that UGC or hosting a social media platform are referred to as 'brands'.

Legal risks

Using social media platforms and leveraging UGC for commercial purposes present a number of significant legal risks for brands. Enabling

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