This is the eighth in our series of key takeaways from some of the presentations and panel discussions offered at the Social Commerce Summit in May 2008.

Dan Noonan, Senior Counsel at Dell Inc. spoke on identifying and addressing issues with UGC.

UGC proponents should encourage concerned parties to learn about appropriate uses for UGC. One approach: create analogies between traditional parts of the business and those to engage UGC. For example, customer care associates hold candid conversations with customers all the time. The legal team does not pre-screen this content.

Once a dialog opens, foster a budding program with a proactive legal approach that manages concerns regarding copyright issues, defamation, and rights to submissions.

  1. Do not encourage comparative claims — disclose that submissions cannot engage third-parties.
  2. React quickly — take questionable material down and respond to cease-and-desist orders.
  3. Do not always seek ownership.
  4. Consider pre-publication screening or moderation.
  5. Clearly state that content cannot contain copyrighted materials, third-party likenesses, trademarks, etc.

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