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Social Media Copyright Infringement: How to Avoid Legal Issues

Social media copyright can be a tricky subject to navigate. With every new wave of social trends come unanticipated legal consequences. Risks like trending sounds, user-generated content (UGC), and creator partnerships can rock even the most responsible, well-meaning brands. While dodging infractions, you must balance protecting your own intellectual property.

Here are some specific practices your company should follow when posting social media content to help avoid social media copyright infringement and protect your brand:

  1. Understand the legal jargon: Before diving into the nitty-gritty of copyright regulations, it’s important to understand some basic definitions such as commercial intent, fair use, fair dealing, and ownership of content posted.

  2. Get permission: Permission is key when it comes to social media copyright. Always work with your legal team to determine the specific actions you should take to request use of third-party content.

  3. Create a proactive social media policy: Establishing a proactive social media policy can help you avoid copyright infringement and protect your brand. This policy should outline the specific practices your company should follow when posting social media content.

  4. Monitor your content: Regularly monitor your social media accounts for any unauthorized use of your intellectual property. If you find any infringing content, take immediate action to have it removed.

  5. Stay up-to-date on copyright laws: Copyright laws are constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest regulations and restrictions.

Violating copyright policies and laws can have serious consequences. Brands might face legal action, which could result in their accounts being deleted or steep statutory damages being imposed (fees can reach up to $150,000). Given the high stakes, it’s important to minimize risks and stay up-to-date with the latest best practices.

Here are some Tips to help you avoid Copyright infringements:

  • Post original content - content you own!

  • Make sure you invest in tools that follow copyright rules like Canva, or Invideo

  • Make sure you have permission to use the photos you use - Google is NOT a FREE for all source for pictures.

  • Trendy music is very popular but you have to make sure the music you use, you have permission to use it.

  • If you use someone else's blog or video please credit them as a source.

Again if you use someone else's content and they have share buttons and say share, at the end of the day if they don't want you to have it or share it they can tell you to remove it. They own that content regardless how the post it and even if they say share it.

Just be careful and when in doubt ask your attorney.

Please note that this is not formal legal advice and you should consult with your legal team for any specific questions or concerns.

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