What You Need to Know About Copyright Infringement in the Digital World

Copyright infringement is a serious problem facing digital media today. The United States has both federal and state laws that protect the rights of content creators, and violations can result in civil lawsuits or criminal penalties. In order to take full advantage of these laws, content creators must consult a copyright lawyer (our recommended law firm is at https://lloydmousilli.com/trademark-lawyer-houston-307986/) to be in the know about their rights, privileges, and how they can monetize their copyrighted content in a way that defends it from infringers or imitators.

Copyright on Social Media

On social media, there is no shortage of viral memes and videos. The moment a video sees appeal to a particular audience at one point in time, it could have “star potential,” regardless of who posts it. The result: the video spreads like wildfire, resulting in various Facebook pages and Instagram and Twitter accounts re-downloading, recording & reposting the video. On YouTube, viral videos find their way into “cringe” and “LOL” compilations, often either monetized by uploaders via Google AdSense, or used as marketing tools for auxiliary products or services.

Sometimes, these reposts are in lower quality than the original post. Sometimes, they have other alterations – the audio is changed, the video is tweaked, they have amended content, or they are adorned with the reposter’s branding. A lot of memes are even unintentional in the way they start spreading.

When social pages copy videos, it is often a way to draw attention to their own pages, so the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram algorithms prioritize them, and “recommend” them to more people.

However, as far as copyright is concerned, retweeting and sharing are the safest ways of bringing a piece of content to more people. Generally, when you create content, you can potentially deter a certain percentage of outright copying by encouraging retweeting or sharing.

Some content owners take such ownership of their work that they want and need to suppress any public perception that a piece of content belongs to someone else. Sometimes, they will post a public announcement that “this piece of content is ours, and if you see a repost without my credit, report it;” others who are particularly aggressive will sue.

Be careful where you publish your content. A copyright lawyer, especially one knowledgeable about social media, can advise you to a more appropriate channel to publish your work. They can also provide you ways to further protect your work on these new channels.

How Can Others Safely Use Your Copyrighted Work?

When you seriously intend to make money from your work, one of the main benefits of copyright law is it helps prevent the diversion of potential revenue to any infringers. In fact, it can be even better when someone asks to use your work. You can find out how they want to use it, and if it’s a fit for you, you can grant permission in a license agreement. This can create a new revenue stream from your work, as the licensee brings you a new, interested audience.

A Copyright Lawyer Houston can help you draft the licensing agreement terms necessary for a win-win between you and any current & future licensees.