Who owns content when it is shared on social media?
When you share content on social media, you still own the content, but the social media platform has a license to use the content. The platform’s licensing rights are outlined in its terms and conditions. This license is typically very broad and allows the site to use your content in any way they see fit. Additionally, any other user also has the right to use your content.
What protections are available to me if someone is reusing my content on social media?
Social media sites allow users to report to them when someone is infringing on their content rights and reusing the content without permission. Once the social media company evaluates whether or not the content is infringing on the owner’s rights, it will remove it from the site. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requires internet providers to remove any content from their website that infringes on a copyright. Users with a copyright may file a takedown request under the DMCA. If the same user is consistently infringing on a creator’s content rights, the creator can send a cease and desist letter to the infringer. However, the creator must be able to locate contact information for the infringer.
What are the best ways that I can protect my content online?
The best protection for original content is a copyright. When content is copyrighted, then the creator can display a clear copyright notice when posting the content online. A copyright also offers more opportunity for legal action for the user. This offers protection of the work for 70 years after the creator’s death. A copyright can protect photos, videos, music and other creative works. However, to protect a name, title, slogan, mark, or short phrase, a creator must file for a trademark.
Without a copyright, a creator concerned about their work being reused without permission should post things online that tie the work back to them in some distinct manner. Additionally, creators can regularly monitor sites to see if their content is being reused without their permission and file reports with the social media site when there is infringement on their content.