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Introduction

When did you last check your mobile notifications? Was it five minutes back or ten? Statistically speaking, in today’s socially active world, majority of people have been understood to be scrolling through their social media feed in every twenty minutes!And we all know who profits most from social media- the social media influencers. You must be coming across various posts, reels and stories of suchsocial media influencers. The rest of you must be the social media influencers who must be posting their hard work daily and hoping that it doesn’t get copied by any of your nemesis.But the most important question here is, do you protect your content on social media? If not, this article is for all such social media users like yourself who don’t want anyone to copy their original content without been given the credits you deserve. In case of any copying or reproduction of your content, you can do a lot more than just reporting the incidence of copying to the platform like Instagram or Facebook or any other social media platform.Apart from reporting, one can also claim and recover the damages which one might suffer and can permanently stop all from copying your content. Let’s dig into the details of what all can you do to keep your content on social media safe!

The need for IPR protection

Have you ever wondered, why the content creatorsneed to protect their content?As discussed before, social media influencers are people who have the ability to influence masses by even posting a single post per day. Any content which is posted by them on social media platforms influences a large number of people implying that it is accessible by them, therefore exposing it to the masses with the possibility of being exploited by them. Sharing (or should we say ‘oversharing?’)is one of the mandatory rituals of social media.Most of the content posted by the social media influencers is permissible to be shared by anyone, extending the access to their content. Such sharing has blurred the line between ownership of the original content curated by the influencer, its duplication and lastly the distribution.

There are various myths and beliefs among the social media users and the most popular among them is that anything which is posted on social media is meant for open use. Contrary to these beliefs there are certain rules and regulations which are to be adhered to while sharing someone’s content such as the Copyright policies of Facebook and Instagram; which are amongthe most used social media platforms of the 21st century. This is where the need of Intellectual Property law arises.

You must be thinking that some of the Intellectual property rights do not require registration as they are automatic, then why do we need to register our content under the law, as an Intellectual property? The answer to that is quite simple and convincing:

  • If your content is officially registered then the risk of others copying or stealing your original work will be reduced.
  • Even if someone steals it after your registration, you would have all rights to sue that perpetrator and claim monetary damages, if need be.
  • It also makes the process of content sharing for theIntellectual Property owner hassle free.
  • More importantly, protecting your content and sharing it along with IP registration proof,will make it more trustworthy, attracting more people and making your brand more recognizable.

How can the content creators avail protection under IPR?

Imagine you decide to become an influencer and started making a profile on Instagram, a little box with a number of terms and conditions asking you if you agree or not will pop up. Now most probably you won’t even bother to read up those terms and conditions and will just click and agree to all the terms and conditions of the gram. This is when you give away the license or the permission of using your content to gram but do not worry this permission doesn’t override the protection given by Intellectual Property laws. The social media influencers and content creators can register their content and enforce their rights under Intellectual Property through copyright and trademark law.

Protection under Copyright law-

Copyright is a kind of intellectual property that protects the original authorial works like movies, photos, sound recordings, movies and other creative things. Blogs, photos and videos constitute as the bulk content for most of the social media influencers. This implies that the protection of that content is quite valuable for them. A copyright provides the author protection for his/her entire lifetime and 60 years after the demise of the author for original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works.

Protection under Trademark law-

Trademark is a logo or a symbol which helps in differentiating the goods or services of one seller from the goods or services of another. While a copyright registration helps in protecting the content of an influencer trademark registration helps in protecting the brand name, taglines, sounds, hashtags,etc. For instance, imagine you are the famous influencer called Mr. Cool and you post your original videos and blogs daily on Facebook, now under copyright you will get this content registered and protect it from being copied by others. However, under trademark you can get your brand name- “Mr. Cool”, or username “Mr. Cool 47”, or even your real name registered assuring your followers that it is you who is posting the content on daily basis so that they don’t get defrauded by others.

The famous Kylie Jennertried to register her name ‘KYLIE’ as a trademark in US but was opposed by Kylie Minogue- a popular Australian singer who already has trademark registered with her name. Similarly, there are various other influencers who have trademarked their name and made a brand out of it such has Huda Kattan, she has registered trademark for‘HudaBeauty’ in UK and EU with a pending application in US.

Conclusion

It is truly said that ‘being a social mediainfluencer is quite a tough job and why it wouldn’t be! Therefore, it becomes significantto register every original piece of hard work of the influencers as it rightfully deserves. Getting content registered under the Intellectual Property laws not only gives its legal rights to a person but can also help them in recovering monetary damages from the person who copied the registered content. The duration for which that registered content was copied and posted on the platform is irrelevant. This is because, the content owner would have suffered losses even if the post was taken down in 5 minutes!However, the amount of compensation may increase with the increase in duration of that copied post or content being online.

Further, not just the social media influencers but all content creators should be cautious and keep track of any infringement or violation of their rights within the realms of Intellectual Property. All of this will only ensure better protection to the rights of a social media influencer and content creators who have registered their content as Intellectual Property.

Do you have any new content to be copyrighted or new brand names to be protected as trademark? Write to us at photon.ip@photonlegal.com and we shall guide you through!

Liked our article? You may also like to read our related blogs to understand more-

  1. Why Should you file for Trademarks?-https://photonlegal.com/why-should-you-file-for-trademarks/
  2. Can Hashtags be Trademarked?-https://photonlegal.com/can-hashtags-be-trademarked/
  3. Artistic Trademarks-https://photonlegal.com/artistic-trademarks/
  4. What are the Rights of a Singer?-https://photonlegal.com/what-are-the-rights-of-a-singer/
  5. The Reality of Indian Music Industry- https://photonlegal.com/the-reality-of-indian-music-industry/
  6. Madrid Application- A one-stop solution for International Registration of Trademarks- https://photonlegal.com/madrid-application-a-one-stop-solution-for-international-registration-of-trademarks/
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