Saturday, November 26, 2016

Do You Know What You Give Away Online...?

You may give away more rights --more copyrights-- than you suspect when you upload something lovely to a social media site.

In Part 2 of an examination of copyright and social media,  Shannon McCue of Baker & Hostetler LLP  explains that under the TOS, when you (the user) post a picture or a video or an original quote, many social media sites take from you the perpetual right to create derivative works from your "stuff" and even to sell the right to create and monetize derivative works to third parties.

So, seemingly, the Social Media site could sell someone else the right to take your cat photo and create your-cat T shirts or coffee mugs, and sell them, and pay nothing to you.

Interestingly, the law is not so clearly against you, the copyright owner, if someone snags your photographic portrait from Instagram (or wherever), crops it and slaps on some captions, and tries to sell that for his own profit.

The Art Law firm, Boodle Hatfield explains here:

Or here:

Shannon McCue's Part 1 for those who want to read it before Part 2 is here: 

Bartier Perry (in 2013) wrote on a similar theme in "We Promise We Probably Won't Use it...." .) (it was a much longer title, the ellipses are mine).

Are you outraged about the stories that some social media sites are censoring comments by users? 

What you may not know is that the Safe Harbor protections for website owners and social media sites are changing, and they might be held liable for "distributing" defamatory comments left by anonymous users. 

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP explain the ongoing Gawker case.

Remember, if you own a website, you must register your copyright agent with the Copyright Office by December 2017.

All the best,
Rowena Cherry

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