Every couple of years, we see social media users publishing long posts containing broad declarations of copyright with lots of legalese. We want to shout from the rooftop: STOP!  Those posters are not doing anything to preserve their intellectual property rights. They simply spread misinformation about the nature of copyright in the age of social media. But we know that the continued popularity of those posts means is people are concerned about their rights in their own content. So on a recent Everyday IP show, we took some time to talk about social media platforms and copyright issues.

Know Your Rights

You cannot protect your rights by posting long screeds about copyright. But you can read the terms of service for your social media platform to educate yourself. When you choose to post content on social media, you give a license to the platform host to allow that content to be shown and shared, but you do not lose your rights. Check the terms of service so that you understand exactly how your content will be treated. Use watermarks on photos. Hire services that help you police the use of your own content.

Respect Others’ Rights

You also can follow some some basic rules of the road to protect your own content and to safely use content created by others. When you want to share content, always use in-platform sharing options. Contact content creators directly if you want to share or use their stuff outside of the platform where you found it. Always investigate the origins of creative content you want to use to make sure you know who holds the rights. Better yet: create your own content!

Want to know more about social media and copyrights? Check out the show and let us know if you have questions about how you are using content on social media platforms.