Social media have changed the way people consume and distribute content and most of us cannot live without them. We share our daily lives through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and etc. We usually upload photos on Facebook, Instagram, and Flicker, while share videos on YouTube and other social networking sites. Users are familiar with the function of social media, however, few familiar with the right way to deal with social media. Most of people know the term of copyright and intellectual property, but they do not realize that they would against the law when they share others’ content without permission on the internet. This article will talk about copyright license and the online copyright infringement cases happened on Instagram and Facebook.
Online copyright has huge impact on any online user. There are several public copyright licenses that protect content creators’ intellectual property and enable free distribution for others. Creative Commons is one of them and it has been used frequently. It allows users to obtain permission for sharing and reusing others’ works in a simple way.
There are six types of licenses offered from Creative Commons, include Attribution (CC BY), Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA), Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND), Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC), Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA), and the most restrictive one Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND). Each of them represents different condition. Creative Commons creates a brand new copyright scheme for online users. Content creators can choose the type of license depends on what they want and further to protect them. Through these symbols, online users can distinguish how they distribute other’s work, from a photo to an article. They also help users away from breaking the law.
With 200 million monthly active users and 60 million daily photo posts, Instagram has become the superstar of photo-sharing social media. Instagram users take photos and share them from their accounts; however, some of them share other user’s photo without permission. A real case in 2012 showed that Instagram users are fighting against photo theft.
Sion Fullana, a New York-based Spanish street photographer, found that his photos are reposted from Spanish Vogue’s official Instagram account without credit. Vogue is one of the largest magazine publishers in the world and they have employed some of the most famous photographers. The stolen behavior shocked Sion Fullana when he found the truth. After being uncovered, Spanish Vogue claimed that it was a big mistake and apologized to the photographer. Sion Fullana then found that this was not the first time Vogue Spain failed to credit photo’s original owner. In an interview with the Daily Dot, he commented “This is becoming much more than just me and my two photos,” “And they need to be taught a lesson on civic rules of the Internet and make them apologize and pay.”
Although the company did apologize immediately on public, the incident already damaged the brand’s reputation and demonstrated that Vogue Spain lacks of understanding of online copyright policy.
Not only a company would make a mistake of breaking the online copyright, an individual Facebook user did the same thing. 21-year-old racer, Sammy Wasem, started a Ferrari fan page when he was 15.
The fan page has been liked by over 12 million fans and became one of the most popular car sites on Facebook. According to Bloomberg, Ferrari mailed Sammy Wasem said “legal issues force us in taking over the formal administration of the fan page.” The boy then filed a lawsuit in 2013 claimed that Ferrari should compensate for his work of at least 10 million Swiss francs. On the other side, the big company claimed that the issue was about against Ferrari’s intellectual property. However, Watch Anish reported that Ferrari was devastating a loyal fan’s dream and hard work while Ferrari argued that it was true that Sammy Wasem misused the company’s trademark to advertise non-Ferrari products. Zac Estrada from Jalopnik mentioned that a case like this would raise question about how a company react and take control of social media.
Social media users need to be aware of the consequences for sharing, reusing, and broadcasting others’ works without properly credit original owners. Thus, social media users, like most of us, could avoid breaking the law and prevent copyright infringement.