User-Created Content

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The OECD characterizes the UCC on three requirements: Publication requirement: A principle characteristic is that the work is published in some context, for example on a publicly accessible website or on a page on a social networking site only accessible to a select group of people (e.g. fellow university students), even though UCC could be made by a user and never published online or elsewhere. This characteristic excludes e-mail, two-way instant messages and the like. Creative effort: A certain amount of creative effort has to be put into creating the work or adapting existing works to construct a new one; i.e. users must add their own value to the work. UCC could include user uploads of original photographs, thoughts expressed in a blog or a new music video. The creative effort behind UCC may also be collaborative, for example on websites that users edit collaboratively. Merely copying a portion of a television show and posting it on an online video website (a frequent activity on UCC sites) would not be considered UCC. Nevertheless the minimum amount of creative effort is hard to define and depends on the context. Creation outside of professional routines and practises: User-created content is usually created outside of professional routines and practices. It often does not have an institutional or commercial market context and UCC may be produced by non-professionals without expectation of remuneration or profit. Motivating factors include: connecting with peers, achieving fame, notoriety or prestige, and expressing oneself."(OCDE, 2007: 18) (


Mathieu O'Neil:

"First requirement is generally accepted by default in all conceptualizations and it generates no disagreement: the user-created content must be available somewhere in the Web.

The second condition emerges, even not explicitly, from the tradition of intellectual property law: a certain amount of creative effort of producers is a condition. Note that this concern only appears in this theoretical perspective. In the others, either is supposed as obvious, or is not shared. The stinging point is what happens when the collaborative production emerges from content which many users simply have copied from any other platform. Is this collaborative production or user-created content? Of course, beyond the philosophical question about the threshold at which a rearrangement of previously existing materials should be considered a new product – “derivative works” in vocabulary of copyright languge-, OECD fears accepting a productive modality which constitute massive violations of existing copyright laws, such as mashups and remix videos which bloom in You Tube.

The third feature is also little discussed in other cases and it is very important: contents are produced outside the professional practices of prosumers and are generated without expecting financial reward. This is quite true to describe the origins of Linux or Wikipedia at present, but not for others, such as those who sell their products in Second Life, or programmers who are told by IBM to produce free software for the Linux community." (


  • OECD (2007) Participative Web and User created Content: Web 2.0, Wikis and Social Networking," Paris.

Avaliable at,3343,en_2649_201185_39428648_1_1_1_1,00.html

  • Submission by Mathieu O'Neil for the CSPP journal in 2010