UKGC issues guidance on copyright duties

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has urged licensed operators to register their subsidiaries with the City of London Police’s ‘Infringing Website List’ (IWL) to safeguard the UK’s digital laws on intellectual property rights and copyright infringement.

The IWL is an online portal operated by London Police’s ‘Intellectual Property Crime Unit’ (PIPCU), which maintains an up-to-date list of websites that infringe copyright laws – helping advertisers and marketing agencies to ‘determine which sites should not be advertised on’. 

Licensed operators must take full responsibility in certifying that third-party advertisers such as affiliates, agencies and ad-networks adhere to UK digital laws on IP protection, ensuring that campaigns are not displayed on unauthorised websites that breach copyright-protected content.

The UKGC also reminded operators that their third-party campaign advertising terms and conditions must be updated to comply with current UK IP and copyright infringement requirements.

Licensed operators must have the appropriate campaign terms to terminate a third party’s ‘contract promptly’- which can be enforced if the licensee holds a ‘reasonable opinion’ that the campaign is breaching copyright infringement.

At present, industry debate is divided over whether the UK online gambling sector should proceed in establishing a ‘statutory regime’ on affiliate and third-party licensing for gambling advertisers – a mandate supported by the recently formed ‘Responsible Affiliates in Gambling (RAiG) trade body. 

Regime advocates have stated that a new affiliate advertising code is required to safeguard standards and marketing practices. However, affiliates have stated concerns as to whether a mandatory regime would weaken their legal status in relation to dispute resolutions on campaign and advertising contracts favouring operators or larger affiliate networks.

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