There are at least six reasons why User Created Content is relevant for a participative information society:
• First of all, the amount of user created content is growing quickly and is starting to become a substitute for other non user created content, such as traditional broadcasting content.
• The traditional publisher model is not applicable to UCC. Users can bypass traditional intermediaries and seek alternative ways to distribute their content. At the same time, technological developments lower the entry barriers for participating actively.
• New intermediaries are influencing the market (of user created content as well as traditional media markets) by offering and exploiting platforms that largely rely on user created content (i.e. YouTube, Flickr). These new players enter into competition with established players (i.e. broadcasters, music publishers, etc.).
• Existing regulatory frameworks are primarily based on:
– centralised models and
– large(r) and incorporated market players.
• The proliferation of user created content as the basis for a whole range of new business models in the information economy challenge existing regulatory schemes. Resulting uncertainties, gaps in legal protection, imbalances or administrative burdens and inappropriate remedies are obstacles to the creation and distribution of user created content.
• With UCC, more private content becomes semi-private or public (i.e.: material posted on blogs, personal videos etc.). This creates/reinforces privacy issues.