Social Media Legal Risks: Copyright

Social Media Landscape

Understanding Social Media Legal Compliance

The use of social media for marketing and advertising purposes is one of the fastest growing areas for publishers. The advent of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn provides the opportunity for authentic interaction and engagement with customers. Therefore, it is no surprise that these services and others are being used as marketing tools by companies large and small to help them achieve their strategic goals.  But with every technological development and opportunity, new legal and business risks present themselves. Understanding and minimizing these risks will help you maximize the opportunities.

How does copyright law impact social media?

  • Copyright protects “original works of creative authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression
  • What this means:
    • any content whether (a) created by you, (b) by some one else at your request, or (c) by an independent third party IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT [Note limited exceptions (e.g. government works, public domain) and work-for hire]
    • GET PERMISSON FIRST if the content is not created by you or under a written work-for-hire agreement
  • Practical Applications
    • Can placing a hyperlink to a photo on a publicly-accessible Web constitute misappropriation of the photo?
    • Can an advertiser’s use of a photo from a publicaly-accesible photo-sharing web site constitute misappropriation? YES
    • Are “Tweets” protected by Copyright?
    • Is Tweeting a Conference Lecture a Copyright violation?
    • Is Tweeting a Major League Sports event a Copyright violation?

About the Author

David M. Adler, Esq. is an attorney, author, educator, entrepreneur and founder of a boutique intellectual property law firm based in Chicago, Illinois. With over fourteen years of legal experience, Mr. Adler created the firm with a specific mission in mind: to provide businesses with a competitive advantage by enabling them to leverage their intangible assets and creative content in a way that drives innovation and increases the overall value of the business. Learn more about me HERE and HERE

David M. Adler, Esq. & Assoc.: Safeguarding Ideas, Relationships & Talent®