What You Need to Know About Social Media Copyright

What You Need to Know About Social Media Copyright

Oct 25, 2023 16:50 PM

Social Media Copyright

Fair use in copyright is a restriction on a copyright holder's rights to prevent others from reproducing or using their work. The law acknowledges that it is only sometimes fair for the owner to be able to limit the use of their work. Allow others to play, too. This is often done for the good of others.

The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works generally sets out a three-step process for determining whether or not to grant exceptions and limitations. The Berne Convention states that an exception to or limitation of the role of using copyright can only be made if the following conditions are met:

It covers exceptional cases.

It does not conflict with the normal exploitation of work.

It does not unfairly prejudice the legitimate interests of the author.

The number of exceptions and limitations varies from one country to another.

Social Media and Copyright

Copyrights protect the owner of a specific type of intellectual property, such as a work created by an individual without form or substance. The U.S. only recognizes certain types of work. The Copyright Act governs copyright.

Copyright is relatively simple for traditional works such as books, plays, and movies. Copyright has become more complicated with the introduction of the Internet.

Bloggers, for example, must be careful about what they say to avoid issues with copyright, trademarks, and libel. Before you use any image on the Internet, you should get a license or look for images in the public domain. This article focuses on the copyright policies of various social media websites.

Provisions of the Copyright Act 1957

In India, the provisions of Section 53 of the Copyright Act of 1957 allow certain acts that would not constitute a copyright violation, namely fair dealing of a literary work, dramatic or musical work, not being a computer program for the purposes:

Private use, including research

Criticism, review, or

Reporting current events in print media

In the form of a broadcast, a film, or photographs

Reproduction of a court proceeding or a report on a court proceeding for a legal proceeding

The reproduction or publication of any work prepared by the Secretariat or, if the Legislature is divided into two Houses, the Secretariat or either House, of a literary or dramatic work for the exclusive use of the members of that Legislature.

The copying of a literary, dramatic, or musical work that is made or provided in compliance with the law in effect at the time

The reading or recitation of any reasonable excerpt from a published dramatic or literary work in public

A publication that is part of a collection containing mainly non-copyright material intended to be used by educational institutions

The making of sound with or without the consent or license of the owner

How Copyright Works with Social Media

Social Media Copyright

If you upload your creative work to social media (for example, Twitter tweets), you retain the copyright if it is eligible. The platform does not own the work; no one else can use it without your permission. There is one exception. By posting to a site like YouTube or Twitter, you agree to their terms of service, which may grant them a license to your work. You also allow other users to share your work on the platform if you have set up the settings to allow sharing. You must understand and comply with the terms of the services you agree to as a social media user.

It is not true that if you post your work on social media, others may use it without credit. If you post a meme to Twitter and other users retweets the message, for example, it is fair use. If someone copies the meme without giving credit and posts it in their feed or on a website outside of social media sites, this does not constitute fair use.

You cannot upload copyrighted work without permission to social media sites. The courts have ruled that posting a photo online is not transformative. Users should only post creative works in the public domain or works that are eligible for fair use. They can also post their work.

You do not need to include a copyright statement with your work because copyright is automatically created when you create a work. If you post your work on social media, you can include a copyright note, such as Bob Jones (c)2019, to remind other users of its ownership.

Users need to be aware of changes in law, as copyright and social networks are ever-changing areas. Registering your copyright can help protect your creative interests.

Let's look at a few of the most popular social media platforms. In some cases, third parties cannot use the content created by users, while in others, they can. It depends on the type of content and the place where it's published. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are among the most popular platforms today. Pinterest, Twitter, Quora, and LinkedIn are also very popular. This is a severe issue; measures should be taken to stop these practices.

Copyrighted material can be posted online on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Social media sites do not own any of the works that have been posted. The copyright remains with the original creator. However, by agreeing to upload works to the site, you are signing an agreement that gives the site the right to use that work. The license, in these cases, is not paid for.

Copyright and Twitter

The Twitter terms and conditions state that:

You retain all rights to any content you submit, display, or post on or through the services. By submitting or posting Content on or via the Services and granting us a non-exclusive royalty-free worldwide license (with sublicense rights), you grant us the right to use, copy, and reproduce the Content, to adapt and modify it, to publish, to transmit, to display, and to distribute the Content in all media and distribution methods (now-known or later-developed).

Twitter users are granting Twitter a license to make tweets accessible to other Twitter users.

Facebook Copyright

Facebook's Terms state that the user owns "all content and information posted on Facebook" and that they can control its sharing through their privacy settings and application settings. In addition, when posting content protected by IP rights, users grant Facebook a nonexclusive, transferable, and sub licensable license that is royalty-free and worldwide to use that IP content. All content is removed when you leave Facebook.

Copyright and Pinterest

Pinterest is a popular social media website that lets members post photos from their websites or other sources. Pinterest's Terms of Service state that it does not claim your photo's copyright. By signing up for Pinterest and accepting their terms of service and privacy notice, however, you agree to grant Pinterest a nonexclusive, royalty-free license that is transferable and sublicensable. This includes the right to display, reproduce, and re-pin your photos and modify, rearrange, and distribute them.

Pinterest may use your content because you agreed to grant them a license for use as described in the agreement. This is without payment. You can use the link in the Pinterest copyright statement to file a complaint if you believe someone has violated your rights.

Protecting your content on social media

It is best to avoid posting your intellectual property on social media in the first instance. You may own the content that you post on social media, but you've granted the site a license to use and display the content.

Include a copyright declaration on all photos to protect the content. Be aware that someone else (not affiliated with the social media website) may appropriate your property. It is important to be alert to possible violations and prompt in filing complaints. You may not support your lawsuit claims if you're not vigilant.

Who Owns the Content on Social Media Sites?

It is a common, if mistaken, belief that all content on social media and the Internet can be freely accessed and used. Many people believe that the content on social media is freely available to all and belongs to everyone. This is not true. Content is published on social media websites (on a user's profile or a page devoted to a product or company brand). This does not imply that social media users' rights are automatically transferred to anyone else to allow them to use content however they choose.

This confusion may be caused or influenced by the fact that social media sites have a "limitation of intellectual rights" in their terms and conditions of use. Users agree to this limitation when they register. These licenses are limited in their scope. These licenses are non-exclusive, allowing the social media site or other users to use the content that users have posted on their social media pages. The content can be used within social media sites, in conjunction with them, or for their services. No other purpose or use is allowed. Reviewing the terms of each social media site's license is necessary to confirm that the uses are authorized.

Infringement of copyright

As a result, it's not surprising that there are frequent infringements on intellectual property rights—content posted by social media users, mainly videos and photos, songs, illustrations, etc. Third parties, including individuals and businesses, use these rights daily, whether they are social media users or not. This is a violation of the intellectual property rights that are inherent in such content.

Posting photos on social media

In the United States, for example, the use and misuse of photographs taken by third parties was the subject of an action that resulted in a copyright violation judgment. The dispute was between Haitian photographer Daniel Morel and the press agencies Agence France Presse and Getty Images. Daniel Morel was in Haiti during the 2010 earthquake and took several photographs. He then posted these on Twitter, Twitter's application that allows users to share photos. The referred agencies could access the images through a third party and sell them to media outlets around the globe without authorization from the photographer or mentioning his name as the original author.

The case lasted three years and was followed by costs. A federal jury presided over Alison Nathan and ordered the agencies to pay $1,200,000 in compensation for violating intellectual property rights. The copyright was found to be infringed because Twitter's licenses did not allow users to use their content for commercial purposes, contrary to what the agency claimed.

In Spain, similar situations have occurred. In several cases, companies in the fashion sector have printed photographs they found on Instagram on clothes without authorization from their respective authors. Although these cases have not reached court, the authors have filed claims and settlement agreements. Sometimes, the companies have apologized publicly for using photographs without authorization. These disputes can have severe repercussions for both social media and the media.


It is important to note that intellectual property laws will cover any content that meets the requirements for being considered a work capable of protection. The same laws in the analogous world also apply online, which is valid for social media sites. The prestigious publisher mentioned above has temporarily forgotten about it. So, it is essential to always take decisions from the best social media optimization company.


What is social media copyright, and why is it important?

Social media copyright refers to the legal protection of original content, such as text, images, videos, and music, posted on social media platforms. It's essential because it ensures that creators' work is protected from unauthorized use and helps maintain the integrity of intellectual property rights.

What types of content are protected by copyright on social media?

Original content like photos, videos, written text, artwork, music, and any other creative work is protected by copyright on social media. This protection extends to both personal and professional profiles.

Do I need to register my content for copyright protection on social media platforms?

No, you don't need to register your content for copyright protection. Original content is automatically protected as soon as it is created and posted on social media. However, registering your work with the relevant copyright office can provide additional legal benefits.

Can I share someone else's content on my social media without violating copyright laws?

Sharing someone else's content, such as retweeting or reposting, is generally allowed on most social media platforms as long as it adheres to their terms of service and any specific copyright rules. Always give proper credit to the original creator and respect their licensing terms.

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