Copyright Infringement or Fair Use?

Filed under: Technology |

Today we seem to be spending our whole lives on a computer at home or somwhere else. It has become important that we understand Copyright law. This law has gotten a lot of attention in the last ten years. It has been the subject of scholarly discussion and lawsuits.

It has become increasingly difficult to say that you are in complete control over written or photographic content you may post to the internet. Enforement of Copyright would force you to be able to prove that the content you are claiming copyright for is in fact your work. If you were to take a photograph of something would you be the only person to have that photograph? If there were a number of people photographing something would you be able to prove that a photo was yours.

Journalists reporting on social media content that is in the public domain must be mindful of whether the material breaches any other laws, particularly defamation laws.

If a tweet or a statement made on Facebook is defamatory, and the journalist quotes it and the newspaper publishes it, the journalist and the newspaper could be liable for defamation.  Publishing a photo or other content that a user has posted to a social networking site may infringe that user’s copyright.

Privacy settings are not watertight, and social networking sites such as Facebook make no promises that anything a user uploads will be secure and be prevented from entering the public domain. Whether lawful or not, the simple “copy, paste” or “save as” functions can quickly take a user’s content from a social networking site and publish it to the world. Aspiring artists, photographers, cinematographers, poets and musicians should be wary of the fact that uploading content on Facebook means giving Facebook a non-exclusive license to use that copyright in any way.

Users should think carefully before uploading a photo or other content, posting their status, or even writing a private message to another user. As the law currently stands, once the information is on the internet, the user’s practical ability to stem any damage arising from the dissemination of that information – and its use by third parties – may be very limited indeed.

Below are some links for more information and some links to show you what information is out there that was captured from social media sites:

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One Response to Copyright Infringement or Fair Use?

  1. Pingback: Online Harassment: New Texas Internet Law Goes Into Effect

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