Does copying posts on social media infringe copyright?
The Legal Myth that we’re busting today relates to social media and this one actually happened to me. If you followed me for a while, you’ll know that I’m always telling you not to copy other people’s things. Don’t copy their images, don’t reuse them, don’t reuse part of their blog, be creative and use your own material. But then the question comes up: what about on social media? What about retweeting and sharing on facebook? Is that copying and is that breaching copyright law?
The answer is no it’s not a breach, you’re on safe ground there. That’s what the person who created the post knew might happen and they intended for it to happen. So if you see somebody’s post that’s amazing, and you want to share it or retweet it, that is perfectly fine, you’re not breaking any rules. But what happened to me was, I had answered a whole lot of questions, ironically about copyrights, that I was answering on social media. Then somebody had been taking my post and not sharing them, but copying the text of my post and copied the entire text of my post and then re-posted it.
This person said in their copy that this was what a local IP lawyer says, and then they posted it. They did not have my permission to copy it, they did not have my permission to post it, and they didn’t name me. Even if they had named me, it was still copyright infringement so that’s what you’re not allowed to do. You’re not allowed to take somebody’s material that they’ve created and then repost it later.
So the myth was that she thought she could then copy it and then paste it into a new post, but she couldn’t, you need to share it, don’t copy and paste it. So that’s my tip for today and the myth that i’m busting here is that you can’t go and copy other people’s things. My second tip, which I actually learned from this experience, is if someone has a question for me on social media, I refer them back to my website. So for many questions, I’ll either have a video or a blog that already answers that question, and if I don’t, I create one.
In most industries, people ask the same things over and over. So when a common question comes up, I give them the beginning of the answer and say, if you’d like to read more, and then I link to my website. The psychology behind that is now they’re looking at my website so they know who I am. But it’s also because people on social media are a little bit more light-fingered with the content and are more likely to copy and misappropriate your information if it’s all on social media media. They’re much less likely to copy something off your website, so that’s my second tip for the day.
It’s been amazing Busting Legal Myths to protect your business with you. If you want more tips on Busting legal Myths, go to my website, ‘legalioness.com’. My name is Cathryn Warburton, and I am the Legal Lioness.