Social Media

Use It and Lose It?

Authored by: Joseph T. Baio

The Routledge Companion to Copyright and Creativity in the 21st Century

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138999251
eBook ISBN: 9781315658445
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315658445-14

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Abstract

A pressing question for content creators today is whether to post work on social networks because the act of posting anything on publicly available electronic platforms potentially exposes work to unauthorized downloading. This essay explores the degree to which posting work on social media results in creators losing control over what they post, if only as a practical matter, because while the law gives them rights, they may not be able to afford to pursue those rights. This essay explores the current unclear state of the law through key cases, including Agence France-Presse v. Morel, in which the courts found that Haitian photographer Daniel Morel did not relinquish his copyrights by posting images to social media, and Sinclair v Ziff Davis, whereby Pulitzer-prize-winning photojournalist and Instagram user Stephanie Sinclair’s lawsuit against Mashable was dismissed because the court agreed that Mashable had not infringed Sinclair’s image because it had only used Instagram’s API to embed Sinclair’s image. The author concludes that a small claims copyright court would help creators resolve social media infringements in an efficient and effective way.

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