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Is your website being cached?

When your website is accessed each webpage that is visited will be temporarily stored for the user to re-access without re-downloading. This is called caching. However, caching can be a problem for you. As well as the practical issues (such as the risk that your user is looking at an out-of-date page or the fact that if the page is not downloaded then you cannot check website usage as accurately), there are legal issues surrounding caching. Caching itself is not illegal but it can be used to breach copyright since it does involve copying your website page without your consent. You cannot prevent a user from caching your web pages but you can take some simple steps to assist in preventing them from benefiting from this.

A) Know the law relating to caching.

The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2013) state that those who provide online services who cache information on their servers for the sole purpose of facilitating access to the information by users of the service at their request, will not be liable in damages or for any criminal sanction in respect of that information, provided that the service provider:

1.    Does not modify the information;

2.    Complies with conditions on access to the information;

3.    Complies with any rules regarding the updating of the information, specified in a manner widely recognised and used by industry;

4.    Does not interfere with the lawful use of technology, widely recognised and used by industry, to obtain data on the use of the information; and

5.    Acts quickly to remove or to disable access to the information he has stored upon obtaining actual knowledge of the fact that the information at the initial source of the transmission has been removed from the network, or access to it has been disabled, or that a court or an administrative authority has ordered such removal or disablement.

B) Have your own caching policy

Publish conditions on access to the information on your website.

C) Consider a website copyright notice

This should state the name of the copyright owner and the first year of publication (for example “© ABC Ltd 2013”).

For more information or to arrange an appointment, please contact David Heys on 0116 212 1000 now.