When work is eligible for copyright protection, such as tweets on Twitter, you retain ownership of the copyright when you upload your creative work on social media. Merely posting your work on social media doesn’t imply that others can use it without credit. For example, if you share work on Twitter, other people can retweet it. But, if someone merely copies the work and gives no attribution to the author, it will not amount to fair use under Copyright Law. 

The work cannot be used without your consent, and the platform does not claim ownership. However, there is an exception to this. By uploading on a platform like YouTube or Twitter, you agree to the site’s terms of service, which typically grant the site permission to utilize your work. More importantly, you’re letting other users on the site share your work (if your settings are configured to allow shares). As a social media user, you must first comprehend and then follow the terms of service you have agreed on.

Copyrighted material can be posted on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. The work posted on the social media site does not belong to the social media site as the owner retains the copyright. However, by agreeing to put works on the site, you sign a contract granting the site permission to utilize the work. In certain instances, the licence is granted without compensation.

For instance, Pinterest is a platform that allows users can share photographs from their personal websites and other sources. The terms of service state that the platform does not claim copyright to the photos. But since you have agreed to terms and conditions at the time of signing up on Pinterest, you offer Pinterest a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sublicensable, global licence to use your content on the platform for providing services to you and its other users. 

In other words, Pinterest has permission to use your content on its site as you have agreed to grant them a non-exclusive licence to do so as defined in the signup agreement. The Pinterest copyright statement includes a link to complain against someone you believe has violated your copyright.

Acts amounting to copyright infringement on social media

Infringements against intellectual property rights occur regularly. The content posted by users on social media sites, mostly videos, images, songs, graphics, and other media, is routinely utilized by third parties, both individuals and businesses, whether or not they are social media users, without prior permission from the owner of the rights. This behaviour infringes on the intellectual property rights that such content entails.

This isn’t correct. Social media users should not expect that giving credit for work or including a link to a website will prevent copyright infringement. The creator of a copyright holder has the sole right to publish the work, and giving attribution alone will not protect a secondary user from an infringement lawsuit.

Assuming it is an original invention, online content or feeds in text, image, video, or music would be protected as a literary work under the Copyright Act. The term “original” refers to how the chain words were presented rather than the underlying concept. In the offline version, no one has the right to copy or use it without the authorization of the author’s, just like any other literary work. The work would be protected as cinematographic work if it were presented as a video. No one has the right to copy, publish, or disseminate work to the public without the permission of the work’s owner, according to Section 14 of the Copyright Act.

Suppose the individual has consented to the platform’s condition that any content posted on the platform will vest ownership in the platform. In that case, the content’s author will have no reason to complain if the platform uses the content. However, the caveat is that the individual who submits the content should be aware of the rules of engagement with the media platform on which it is uploaded to the platform’s entitlement to this content.

Disclaimer: The present article intends to provide general guidance on the subject, and you can also consult us in your specific case.

Author

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    Tanya is an intellectual property Attorney. She specializes in Trademarks, copyright and holds a keen interest in Geographical Indication and Designs. Tanya is an expert in Legal field and has written various articles and research papers on intellectual property rights. She has gained experience with reputed I.P. firms in their Copyright and Trademark departments. Tanya graduated from Jindal Global Law School and held an LL.M. in IPR from Amity Law School Noida.