Social media platforms enable users to profit from their brand and original works such as photos, videos, articles and various “mash ups”. Their brand and content may be protected by trademarks and copyrights and users may generate thousands of postings to build an extensive intellectual property portfolio. A user may develop a popular brand for their curated content across multiple platforms such as web, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, with their creative posts generating significant goodwill and revenue. Companies pay popular users to reach target audiences instantaneously and effectively with authentic content of pictures, videos, blogs and other derivative works. This … Continue Reading
Social media channels represent an exciting medium to reach out to the public and potential collaborators. Social media can also play an important role in helping generate positive buzz for organizations seeking to develop a market for their products or services. For example, many of today’s companies gauge the depth of market interest in their products not through traditional advertising or focus groups, but rather through leveraging social media, such as communication platforms (e.g., Twitter, WeChat, Facebook), and content sharing platforms (e.g., YouTube, Vine), and crowd-funding platforms (e.g., Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe). Some companies are also using open, collaborative approaches to … Continue Reading
Our Top Five stories from 2015 also provide some “lessons learned” or considerations for companies who are considering using social media in 2016:
- Know what data you are collecting and where it is being transferred. Like more than 4,000 companies, Facebook had been sending member data of European citizens to the United States pursuant to the EU/US Safe Harbor. In October 2015, the European Court of Justice struck down the EU/US Safe Harbor, leaving companies scrambling to find an alternative way to send personal data from the European Union to the United States. Although the successor to the EU/US Safe
The Social Media Law Bulletin is back!
The ongoing interest of our readers as well as the increasing impact of social media led us to re-launch the Social Media Law Bulletin. We will be bringing you coverage of one or two items approximately each week, but in the meantime, we thought we would give you a brief summary of some of the most significant social media stories from 2015:
Schrems v Facebook
Facebook earned the top spot in our social media impact list, due to a court ruling that only indirectly affected it. In October 6, 2015, the European Court … Continue Reading
You do (at least as between you and Instagram—your employer may have ownership rights in certain situations)! Instagram does not claim ownership of any content that you post.
You do grant Instagram very broad license rights: a non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use content that you post. This license grant means that you have given Instagram the right to use any of your photos for free, for any reason, anywhere in the world. Instagram can also give those rights to a third party.… Continue Reading
An application programming interface (API) is a library or structured set of software tools that provides an interface to a backend software platform, such as a social networking platform, without providing direct access to the underlying source code of the platform.
For example, Facebook™, Twitter™, Instagram™, LinkedIn™, Google Plus™, and Tumblr™ offer APIs so that developers can interface with their social networking platforms, resulting in widespread development of various social network based software applications.… Continue Reading
The case so far
Briefly summarizing the case so far, photographer Daniel Morel posted some photographs on Twitter. Agence France Presse (“AFP”) copied eight of those photos, and provided them to Getty Images (US), Inc. (“Getty”), which then distributed the works to various infringing third parties. Getty continued to distribute the photographs, despite receiving a “kill notice” from AFP on the photos, and in 2010 Morel brought suit against AFP … Continue Reading
Companies can now reach their target audiences more quickly and more effectively by taking advantage of instantaneous posting of pictures and blogs. The use of social media apps that allow the quick exchange of photos to other users is rapidly growing.
From “Winter is Coming” to plays on the Harlem Shake to anything involving cats, memes and GIFs (short for Graphics Interchange Format) are an increasingly popular way in which cultural ideas are shared. A meme has been characterized as a “categorization of a cultural trend or truth, a unit for communicating and collectively sharing cultural ideas through words, symbols and pictures.” Social Fresh, How to Harness the Marketing Power of the Meme. Many memes, in popular culture, are easily recognizable—an image with large, bold text across the top and/or the bottom (a popular example is LOLcats). GIFs, on the … Continue Reading
Any employer with a web site or social media page that invites users to provide content will probably be interested in a September 18, 2013 case from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York involving Capitol Records and video-sharing site Vimeo. Capitol Records, LLC v. Vimeo LLC, No. 09 Civ. 10101 (RA) (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 18, 2013). Capitol Records and others claimed that 199 videos posted on Vimeo were infringing their copyrighted music.
Earlier this year, we wrote about a court opinion relating to photos posted on Twitter, in Agence France Presse v. Morel, the opinion of which was issued in January. The case, it appears, has come back to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, this time to determine the precise meaning of § 504(c) of the Copyright Act, which deals with awards of statutory damages.
The relevant facts from the case are as follows: Agence France Presse (“AFP”) provided photographer Daniel Morel’s copyrighted images to Getty Images (US), Inc. (“Getty”), who then distributed … Continue Reading
Title II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides a safe harbor for online service providers that allow users to self-post content. For companies with Web 2.0 enabled sites, 17 U.S.C. § 512(c) limits liability “for infringement of copyright by reason of the storage at the direction of a user.” But this safe harbor provision only applies where the provider acts to remove copyrighted material from its site upon being informed of it. This post discusses the DMCA and its implementation.
The DMCA limits liability to service providers even if they have actual knowledge of infringing activity. But copyright … Continue Reading
On May 15, 2013, a federal district court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for class action certification in a case involving YouTube. The Football Ass’n Premier League Ltd et al v. YouTube Inc., No. 1:07-cv-03582 (S.D.N.Y. May 15, 2013).
We had previously covered the case involving Viacom’s lawsuit against YouTube, where the same district court ruled, on summary judgment, that the copyright law’s safe harbor applied and that the plaintiffs had not proven that YouTube knew or was aware of specific infringements. The plaintiffs in that case were generally involved in creating movies and television shows, whereas the named … Continue Reading
On April 18, 2013, a federal district court judge again granted summary judgment in favor of YouTube in a copyright infringement lawsuit originally filed by Viacom, Paramount Pictures, and others in 2007. Viacom Int’l Inc. v. YouTube, Inc., No 1:07-cv-02103-LLS (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 18, 2013).
The plaintiffs had claimed that YouTube had infringed their copyrighted movies, television shows, etc. YouTube defended its actions by stating that the federal copyright law’s “safe harbor” applied because YouTube was merely acting as a service provider, it had no knowledge of infringing materials, and, when informed precisely of infringing materials, it promptly removed them.… Continue Reading
In an “effort to be as transparent as possible regarding the removal or restriction of access to user posted content,” social media company Twitter recently announced changes to the site’s Copyright and Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) policy.
Instead of merely removing the potentially infringing tweets without explanation, Twitter will now clearly mark Tweets and media pieces that have been withheld to indicate to Twitter users that content has been withheld on the basis of a DMCA complaint by the copyright holder. See the example below:
In its policy, Twitter also notes that it may suspend and warn repeat … Continue Reading