In order to protect the UK’s digital laws on intellectual property rights and copyright infringement, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has advised licenced operators to register their subsidiaries with the ‘Infringing Website List’ (IWL) of the City of London Police.
The IWL is an online portal run by the ‘Intellectual Property Crime Unit’ (PIPCU) of the London Police, which maintains an up-to-date list of websites that breach copyright laws, helping marketers and marketing agencies ‘determine which sites should not be advertised on.’
The new guidance has been released by the Commission, reminding all licenced operators of their responsibilities to ensure that their advertising campaigns do not appear on websites that infringe copyright.
In certifying that third-party marketers such as affiliates, agencies and ad-networks conform to UK digital IP privacy regulations, licenced operators must take full responsibility to ensure that campaigns are not advertised on unauthorised websites that violate content protected by copyright.
In order to comply with existing UK IP and copyright infringement standards, the UKGC reminded operators that their third-party campaign advertisement terms and conditions must be revised.
Registered operators must also ensure that they have the required terms of the campaign to terminate the ‘deal immediately’ of a third party, which may be implemented if the licensee has a ‘fair opinion’ that the campaign violates the infringement of copyright.
Industry discussion is currently divided on whether the UK online gambling industry should continue to develop a ‘statutory regime’ on affiliate and third-party licencing for gambling advertisers, a mandate backed by the newly founded ‘Responsible Affiliates in Gambling’ (RAiG) trading body.
Regime proponents have argued that to safeguard standards and marketing practises, a new affiliate advertisement code is needed.
Affiliates, however have raised questions about whether their legal status will be undermined by a mandatory regime in relation to conflict agreements on campaign and advertising contracts favouring operators or broader affiliate networks.