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Copyright: Social Media Copyright

Learn more about the basics of copyright and your rights as an author. This guide will help you decide if a work is copyrighted and how you can use it for your research and course.


Some things to consider

  • Reposting, sharing, or providing a link to the original source is not always enough to avoid copyright infringement. 
  • If someone reuses your image without consent there are measures you can take. 
  • Each social media platform has different terms of use that outline your responsibilities for intellectual property


Click on the following social media platforms to find out more!

Twitter's Terms of Service stipulates "What’s yours is yours — you own your Content" but if you posted something that isn't actually yours, the person who has the copyright can report a copyright infringement

Even though you can report copyright infringement, It is rare that a Tweet would be covered under copyright because of the degree of originality and medium tangibility required under the law. However, if your Twitter account leads to a book deal or tv show that would result in copyright protection of the original work. 

By signing the agreement, you give Twitter non-exclusive rights. This means they are allowed to use your work to "promote and improve [Twitter] and to make Content submitted to or through the Services available to other companies, organizations or individuals for the syndication, broadcast, distribution, promotion or publication of such Content on other media and services".

So Twitter can use your work but other's can't.

The whole premise of Pinterest pin (post) someone else's photos. Even though there is usually a link to the original post, you probably break copyright because you did not explicitly obtain the copyright holder's permission before pinning. Site users are responsible for the all content posted so if you are sued you must pay to defend yourself and the cost of Pinterest's lawyers. For companies who don't allow you to pin their photos, there is an opt-out code to add to your website. 

The Terms of Service and Copyright Policy from Pinterest

Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities explains that you can only post if it doesn't violate the Intellectual property rights of another person and they recommend the best way to do this is to only post content you have created yourself. By using their service, you give them non-exclusive rights to use anything you post. Read more about intellectual property on Facebook.
For both the free and paid version The terms and conditions stipulate that you have the copyright on any original content you post and are liable if you post something that is copyrighted by someone else. Additionally, anything you post can be used by WordPress with limited rights to only distribute and promote your blog. They also have some restrictions to the content that will be hosted. Specifically: spam, viruses, or serious threats of violence.
Wordpress has lots of plugins that can add functionality to your site. However, each one has their own terms and conditions so please go with caution.
If you believe someone is infringing on your intellectual property you can submit a DMCA notice to start an investigation. But be aware that if you are found to have submitted a false report, they will write hilarious blog posts about you. 

When an article is published, the author usually has to sign a publishing agreement. Each agreement is different but usually has a stipulation that the author can't make the work open access for a set amount of time. When uploading your work to ResearchGate you may be in violation of the agreement you signed. Many researchers knowingly upload their work regardless of the copyright but publishers have taken ResearchGate to court for facilitating the sharing of restricted material (estimated at 7 million articles). 

Before uploading - check your license agreement. If you are unsure, the NU Digital Center can help. 

Youtube has extensive documentation to help you understand copyright. These links explain what music and video are allowed on their site as well as what to do is someone steals your works. 

When posting a video, it is not enough to post a notice in the description about not having rights to the content. If by posting something you are taking away views from someone else - this violates the copyright. 

YouTube tries to prevent copyright infringement by cross checking every video uploaded against the other uploaded videos (similar to Turnitin)

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