By Sarah Kornblet
May 3, 2017
Do you share images in your social media marketing?
Wondering if you’re violating copyright laws?
With a bit of information, you can learn to protect yourself and your business from a copyright infringement lawsuit.
In this article, you’ll discover five tips to help you use images correctly (and legally) on social media.
#1: Understand Copyright Basics
You don’t need to read a law book, but knowing a few copyright basics will go a long way in helping you use images legally (and protecting your own content). So much misinformation about copyright is out there; however, understanding these key points will put you ahead of the game.
- Copyright is a designation given to creative works that you put into the world in a “fixed form,” meaning the minute you type that blog post or put that photo on Instagram, you’re protected.
- Copyright covers a variety of categories, including literary works (books, poetry, articles); performing arts (music, lyrics); visual arts (artwork, jewelry, photos); digital content (websites, blogs); motion pictures (movies, television, videos); and photographs (commercial, personal, portrait).
- Copyright protection is automatic, meaning the work is presumed to be yours. Although many people use the copyright symbol © as a way of saying, “Hey, this stuff is all mine!”, the symbol is no longer legally required.
- With this protection, you get certain rights. For example, no one else can use your work without permission.
If you want the ability to sue for copyright infringement (if someone steals your work), you need to register the work with the U.S. Copyright Office within 90 days of publication.
So, for example, if you publish content on February 1 and infringement occurs on March 1, you still have until the end of April to register and