Gambling Commission issues guidance on copyright duties

The UK Gambling Commission has issued new guidance to operators on copyright protection.

The UK Gambling Commission has reminded operators to register their subsidiaries with the City of London Police’s Infringing Website List (IWL) to protect the UK’s digital laws regarding copyright infringement and intellectual property rights.

The IWL is an online portal operated by London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) and contains an up to date list of websites that infringe on copyright laws. This is intended to help advertisers and marketing agencies determine “which sites should not be advertised on.”

The Commission’s guidance

According to the regulator’s guidance, licensed operators in the UK must take full responsibility in certifying that third-party advertisers such as agencies, affiliates and ad-networks adhere to the UK’s digital laws on IP protection by ensuring that campaigns are not displayed on websites that break copy-right protected content.

The Commission also reminded operators that third-party campaign advertising terms and conditions must be updated so that they are in compliance with the current UK IP and copyright infringement requirements.

Licensees are required to have the appropriate campaign terms to terminate a third-party’s contract “promptly.” This can be enforced if an operator holds a “reasonable opinion” that the campaign is in breach of copyright rules.

Overseeing advertising in the gambling space

At this moment in time, the industry is divided over whether the UK gambling sector should establish a statutory regime for affiliate and third-party licensing for gambling advertisers.

The recently formed trade body Responsible Affiliates in Gambling’ (RAiG) supports the creation of a regulatory body for affiliates in the gambling space. Those who are in favour of a statutory regime have stated that a new affiliate advertising code is required to safeguard standards and market practices. 

However, several affiliates have voiced concerns that a mandatory regime could weaken their legal status in relation to dispute resolutions on campaign and advertising contracts in favour of operators or larger affiliate networks.

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