Social Media Copyright Guidelines: How to Protect Your Content with Jamie Lieberman

Episode #197 the Wingnut Social Podcast

Do you share other people’s content on social media? Are you familiar with social media copyright guidelines? Do you know how to protect your own work if the situation arises? Jamie Lieberman shares her expertise on the legality of all things social media in this episode of Wingnut Social. To learn more about the basics of copyright law, handling inspiration posts, getting bland collaborations, and protecting your content—listen now!

Jamie Lieberman is the owner and founder of Hashtag Legal and has been a practicing attorney for more than 15 years. She’s currently on the Board of Directors for The Influencer Marketing Association. Jamie is well-versed in the legal hangups that haunt creative-based businesses. She’s also a co-author—along with Darla—in the upcoming book A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts Volume II.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:43] Choosing Images for Instagram
  • [3:40] All about Jamie Lieberman
  • [5:25] Legality and influencer marketing
  • [7:54] Jamie’s chapter in LuAnn’s book
  • [10:27] Understand the basics of copyright law
  • [11:47] How to handle “inspiration” posts
  • [15:18] Brand collaborations + licensing
  • [20:13] What’s more important: followers or engagement?
  • [22:55] The DMCA Takedown Notice
  • [26:50] Facebook: claiming copyright ownership
  • [28:39] The future of social media
  • [31:52] What up Wingnut! Round
  • [33:46] How to connect with Jamie Lieberman
  • [38:28] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Jamie Lieberman

Resources & People Mentioned

The basics of copyright law

Jamie emphasizes that you have to think about the goal of your social media. What is it doing for your business? Is it your whole business as an influencer? Or simply a marketing tool? You then have to think about:

  • What content am I creating?
  • Who is creating it?
  • Who owns it?

If you’re creating it yourself, then you own it. If someone else is creating it for you, you have to make sure you still own it. You must only use other people’s content with permission. It’s intellectual property that is copyrighted. You need a general understanding of copyright rules.

The dos and don’ts of inspiration posts

How should you handle inspiration posts? Jamie’s “lawyer” answer is that you cannot share anyone’s content that you do not have permission to share. Attribution is NOT the same as permission. If you want to use someone else’s content—ask them if you can share it. Sharing on an Instagram story is fine because it’s sharing their content. But a lot of people copy and paste someone else’s work and put it in an original post—which is NOT okay. You have to be careful about how you’re using someone else’s content.

Photographers have become very sensitive about this. Their images get shared and used without their permission over and over again—and many aren’t standing for it anymore. Jamie had a client with over a million followers on their Facebook page. He posted a photo—with attribution—that led to a protracted fight. He just said it was a beautiful photo and wasn’t trying to monetize it, but the bottom line is that he didn’t have permission.

DMCA Takedown Notice

If you are the owner of the image, you have the right to require someone to remove it—even if you haven’t registered a copyright. By nature, when you create an original work, it’s yours. So how do you handle it? Collaborative negotiation. Unless there’s a contentious background, reach out without a lawyer. You can simply send an email and request they take down your image.

If that doesn’t work, you can file a DMCA Takedown Notice. All of the social media networks can do it. If you own copyright protected material and someone is using it without permission, you can file the notice. It’s the same with a website host. It gets it done. But what if your end goal is monetary compensation?

Jamie points out that it’s more difficult to get monetary damages without a copyright registration. If you have it, you may be eligible for damages. You can send the demand yourself or have your lawyer help you. But at the end of the day, you have to question what your end goal is. Jamie emphasizes that “Your intellectual property is only as strong as you’re willing to protect it.” If someone is infringing on that, Jamie recommends asking them to take it down.

How do you claim ownership of your own work on Facebook? How do you cultivate long-term collaborations with brands? Where is the future of social media headed? Jamie answers all of these questions and more in this episode. Don’t miss it!

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