Who Owns What You Post On Social Media?

You might be surprised……

Clicking the ‘yes’ button to indicate that you have read and agreed to a social media channel’s terms of use is, for most of us, often not quite true. The length and breadth of the legal speak involved sets up for failure – Facebook’s terms of service and data use, for example, runs to more than 15,000 words. But when you’re posting your entire life online, from important events to precious family photos, its advisable to have an idea of exactly who owns your content.

If you create it, you own it until you say otherwise. Under copyright law, from the moment you ‘fix’ your original creative work in a ‘tangible medium’, you own the rights to it. Typing a blog post on your laptop or taking a photo with your smart phone counts. So, content that you create and then post to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube or anywhere else is still yours.

By posting it online you have made it easier for people to infringe your rights by copying your content, but you haven’t given up those rights.

But that’s not the whole story.

When you sign up for sites such as Facebook or Twitter, you grant the company a ‘non-exclusive’, transferable, sub-licencable, royalty-free, worldwide licence’ to use any of your photos,m words or videos. This means that they can use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute your content in any way, without notifying, crediting or paying you.

Is it worth it?

Social network users can express their thoughts and feelings online and keep in touch with friends and family near and far. They can showcase work and give ideas a global audience that once seemed impossible to achieve. And they can also make new friends all over the world in colourful and entertaining ways. But be aware of what you”re signing yourself up for when you post on social networks, and don’t let the somewhat universal terms of service put you off using them.

How To Control Your Content

On Facebook…. Limit posts seen by ‘friends’ and not to ‘public’.

On Twitter…. If your teen has a Twitter account, click ‘Protect My Tweets’ so only approved users can see them.

On YouTube…Make your videos private by selecting ‘Edit Video’, then adjust the Broadcast and Sharing Options’. If your teen has an account, you make it ‘unlisted’ so only people with a direct web address can find his or her videos.

On Instagram…. In the ‘Edit Your Profile’ section, scroll down and change ‘Posts Are Private’ feature to ‘on’ to make it less likely that your photos will be reposted elsewhere.

Don’t forget that you need to be at least 13 years of age to have a social media account.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>