Digital Economy Act Initial Obligations Code

A draft version of the Digital Economy Act Initial Obligations Code has been published by Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator.

When a regulator tries to impose their rules on the Internet, there will always be a core group of people who try to subvert them and will find a way around any sort of legislation. This makes enforcement of these rules nigh on impossible, despite how difficult they will be to follow through with in the first place.

What does this code mean for brands?

Are they now in control of the data they are putting out to be shared? Will they now need to put a disclaimer on all the content they are publishing online to signify if they’re happy for their fans to share it?

It seems to me that if a user were to use an image without permission (even accidentally), a brand could try and enforce the copyright three strikes ruling.

This means that subcultures like 4chan or b3ta could see their communities under constant threat of Internet eviction as they look to re-mix logos, videos and adverts.

That level of control is not healthy for creativity and innovation because it restricts the freedom that the Internet gives the anonymous satirist.

Too much control will lead to tension and tension may lead to revolution.

How Ofcom deals with that potential threat will be key over the next 12 months.

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