UKGC: Copyright Infringement Websites No Place to Advertise

Today, the UK Gambling Commission released a statement on its website reminding operators of their responsibilities related to theirs’ and their third-party marketing affiliates’ digital adverts and copyrighted content.

Affiliates Placing Ads are Operators’ Responsibilities

The regulatory body in the UK promptly reminded licensees of their responsibilities to make sure that no advertising content is posted by them or any of their marketing affiliate partners on websites that provide unauthorized access to copyrighted content.

Citing the provisions of Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) 16.1.1 related to the placement of digital adverts, the watchdog reiterated all operators should ensure that they do not place digital advertisements on websites that allow unauthorized access to copyright-protected content.

Second, all incumbents should undertake action to prevent any third-party they have contractual agreements for the provision of any aspect of the licensed business from doing the same and not place any ads on websites infringing copyrights.

The Gambling Commission urged operators to insert clauses in their terms with third-parties to enable them to terminate such contracts promptly and in compliance with any dispute resolution provisions in cases in which the third-party is responsible for infringing the obligation of not placing licensed business ads on websites breaching copyrighted content.

Gambling Should Not Be Associated with Crime

The regulatory watchdog reminded all operators that placing ads on websites that provide unauthorized access to copyrighted content is, in essence, funding for these websites and is therefore associating gambling with crime.

While a significant reduction of gambling ads placed on copyright-infringing websites has taken place over the years, there is still gambling adverts appearing on such websites, the commission outlined, stressing the need for operators to introduce additional controls, assess their methods of monitoring, or both to make sure such occurrences cease.

The commission has refrained from specifying any particular measures, but the regulatory body is adamant operators should crank up their efforts. As a possible approach, the Gambling Commission pointed to registration with the Infringing Website List (IWL) operated by the Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) within the City of London Police.

The IWL aims to enable advertisers, agencies, and other intermediaries to voluntarily stop placing adverts on websites that infringe copyrights by offering an up-to-date list of these websites. The regulator encouraged gambling operators to register with the website’s services.

Once registered, licensees should continue to proactively monitor the online portal regularly to make sure they are aware of its latest updates and do not place an advertisement irresponsibly.

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