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Are You Posting and Tweeting Your Rights Away?

GET CREATING CAYMAN | April 19, 2017

Social media has become a huge part of our lives. From poetry to short stories; music to pictures; paintings to handicrafts, it can all be seen on social media. But have we ever stopped and wondered if we’re socialising our intellectual property rights away?

You may not realise it, but unauthorised social sharing of confidential business information could adversely affect creators, and/or their companies. This is why it’s so important for creators to manage their IP rights on social media.


Facebook’s policy is that they respect other people’s rights and expect you to do the same. When you sign up for a Facebook account, you agree that you will not post content or do anything that would violate or infringe someone’s rights or the law (did you know that?). You also agree that Facebook can remove anything you post if they believe you’ve violated this policy.

But when you create your Facebook account, you also agree to give Facebook a “non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license” to use any IP content you post? This includes us-ing your content outside of Face-book, and to adapt or modify it. The license ends when you delete your IP content or your account – but the right to distribute it doesn’t. And guess what? If the content was shared by others and they have not deleted it, the license continues even though you haven’t continued your relationship with Facebook.

That said, you can have infringing content removed from Facebook, by making a report on its dedicated “takedown page”. Once your report is received, Facebook will review and remove the content, if it is found to be infringing. If your con-tent is removed, you can appeal and prove that the content was removed by mistake. Facebook will disable the account of repeat infringers.



Twitter also has an IP rights policy. Through their terms and conditions, they state that you grant them a “worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty free license” when you create an account. This means the cute little video of your baby learning to walk or picture of your cat giving a “side eye” are all free for Twitter to use, without having to seek your permission or pay you anything.

If you believe your content is being infringed on Twitter, you can pro-vide them with a physical or electronic signature of the copyright owner; the copyrighted work you believe is being infringed; and your contact details. Twitter will then have the content removed. And, like Facebook, Twitter will terminate the accounts of repeat infringers.

Creators, it’s best to know the IP policies of all your social media platforms – don’t socialise your rights away! And let me hear your thoughts on this subject as you get creating, Cayman! Published in  www.caymaniantimes.ky