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How to Avoid Copyright Infringement on Social Media

IPR Daily

2023-12-13 15:21:52

Social media offers businesses an outlet to expand their audience through engaging and strategic content creation, but this increase in original content also brings with it heightened concerns about copyright protection. While navigating the complex terms of social media platforms can be tricky, businesses can take worthwhile steps to protect their intellectual property from copyright infringement, safeguard their digital assets, and maintain their reputation.

Using copyright on social media platforms

Posting creative work on social media generally allows you to maintain control of your copyright so long as your content is eligible, but depending on the terms and conditions you agreed to when creating your social media account, certain protections may be relinquished. That’s because when you post on sites like YouTube or X, formerly known as Twitter, you're agreeing to their terms, which usually means giving the platform a license to use the content you’ve posted on their platform. However, social media platforms never gain ownership of your work.

Posting your work on social media does not permit other users to reproduce or use your work without proper attribution to you as the original creator. For example, others can share a meme you created through retweets, but they cannot take it and repost it as their own — especially outside the platform — as it doesn't typically qualify as fair use or adhere to platform rules.

How content is licensed

Whenever a user or brand creates a new social media account, the user must accept the platform’s terms and conditions. Despite most people never reading through the terms and conditions before agreeing to abide by them, these stipulations grant each platform specific rights to use your copyrighted content in any way they choose royalty free.

While the original poster retains ownership of the content they share on social media, each platform has the proper license to use, distribute, copy, and display any content shared on their platform commercially; sublicense it for third-party use; or sell it altogether without ever paying a profit to the original creator.

In most instances, this license ends whenever the content has been deleted from the account or if the account has been terminated; however, if others shared the content before it was deleted, it may remain visible.

How to avoid copyright infringement

Copyright infringement can lead to a multitude of consequences for businesses, including legal complications, financial losses, and negatively impacted reputations. Nevertheless, businesses can implement proactive measures to prevent such infringements.

Source: uschamber.com - Miranda Fraraccio

Editor: IPR Daily-Horace

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