Cookies on Pinsent Masons website

Our website uses cookies and similar technologies to allow us to promote our services and enhance your browsing experience. If you continue to use our website you agree to our use of cookies.

To understand more about how we use cookies, or for information on how to change your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy.

Tagging: the legal issues

This guide is based on UK law. It was created in February 2007.

Flickr.com became a huge success by offering a free platform for uploading digital photographs. Users tag each picture that they upload to provide a description that helps other users navigate the site.

Tagging is a form of meta data – in this case meaning data describing a web page of image – and raises the same issues: if someone deliberately tags content with a registered trade mark to attract web traffic, it could amount to trade mark infringement. (See: The use of trade marks in meta tags)

There is also a tough criminal penalty in the US if the use of words might lead anyone to obscene content. The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, passed in July 2006, introduces a 20-year maximum prison sentence for this form of meta tag abuse. It is targeted at those sites using words that would attract children to pornographic content.

Contacts

See also: Legal info about user-generated content