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Moves to stamp out unofficial Web publications

A new UK-based regulatory body plans to turn up the heat on the publishers of unofficial material on the Web.

At the moment it is very easy for publishers to produce fanzines and publications on the Web about football clubs, pop groups and any other intellectual property that is unauthorised. Search engines like Yahoo! and Alta Vista will often list these unauthorised sites along side the official ones with little, or no differentiation.

The newly formed Internet Content Register aims at making the official material clearer by use of an online logo. They are also keen for ISP's and browser manufacturers to take steps to make the flagging of unoffical and pornographic material easier to implement.

The ICR's Mike Hawkes told ZDNet News that the organisation had been set up by a group of advertising executives "who were absolutely fed up with all the junk out there...we are a non-profit making organisation".

ICR aims to enlist the support of existing bodies like the Advertising Standards Authority and the Consumer Association, and claims that these groups were initially supportive of ICR's aims. The ICR code of practice is published in full at www.internet.org.uk