Who will get to choose when you’re browsing the web?
On Friday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it would be expanding its review of whether Web designers are considered to be “content creators.”
As part of the rulemaking, the FTC will be examining whether Web developers are still considered “content providers” in the same way that YouTube is.
“Web design is an increasingly complex field, and the FTC has received complaints about many aspects of the Web,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement.
“But this new inquiry will expand our understanding of the role of the content creator in providing goods and services to consumers, and will provide us more tools to prevent the creation of false or misleading claims.”
In the past, the commission has considered whether content creators like YouTube and Facebook are “content producers” and whether the “fair use” doctrine applies to those creators.
But now, Ramirez said, “we will consider whether to expand this inquiry to include whether websites and other online services that provide content are ‘content providers’ or ‘content creators’ in the sense that they are providing goods or services to the public.”
The FTC’s new rules would give the FTC the authority to examine whether “content” is “distributed or created” or whether “the use of a copyrighted work in connection with a service is fair use.”
The agency’s new rulemaking follows a similar rule the commission made last year that could result in websites and online services not being considered “distributors” of copyrighted content.
The new rule would require those online services to have their own legal process to protect their content.
In December, the FCC also proposed rules requiring Internet service providers to give consumers more information about their privacy rights.