Social Media, Social Media Marketing

Know If Your Brand Is Breaking the Law on Social Media

Ambiguous rules and slipshod enforcement of law in resharing of original content on social media has resulted in the theft of the creators’ intellectual property. that’s changing as the creative class have become more proactive in enforcing their legal and moral rights in the burgeoning multibillion-dollar social media industry. Your brand could have potential legal exposure from the images you use on social media, if your brand doesn’t rely solely on commissioned or in-house content. That’s precisely the reason why you might want to re-evaluate your social media content policies.

Google has built a reverse image search feature in its Google Images, which allows their users to click on the camera, upload an image and then review the websites which are using that image. Getty Images is one of the many companies who has employed similar technology to find instances of unlicensed use of their images. They then automatically dispatch letters seeking compensation for commercial infringement.

By simply tagging the person who originally posted the image doesn’t give the one who is reposting a legal license to reuse content. Given that images are re posted multiple times, original attribution often is lost. In other words, you might credit the wrong brand or person apart from illegally posting an image.

Brands absolutely adore user-generated content (UGC) because it’s free and builds up a rapport with the audience. There are several methods of generating UGC. A few brands depend upon hashtags to gather UGC, so that they can then use the hashtag as evidence of permission to repost. Rather, what should be legally done, is to seek written permission from the content creator before reposting.

Although various social media platforms have different personalities with distinct content focuses, it’s important to keep in mind that most content is legally owned by the creator of the content. In fact, the terms of use of all the platforms prohibit infringement of a third-party’s rights.  Hence, always obtain permission before reposting content on your own handle. If you simply tag and/or add a copyright disclaimer, it won’t be protecting you legally in infringement cases.

The threat of lawsuit looms over if your brand is associated with plagiarism of any kind. Social media and content-sharing platforms have begun automating copyright infringement detection and monetization capabilities for their content creators. It is easy to be ignorant of the law as the average consumer rarely deals directly with licensing. However, brands are risking their credibility. Having a holistic corporate content policy is a start towards mitigating this risk.

This article has been brought to you by Hansaa Digiventures, a leading industry expert in the digital marketing industry.