How has the useof social mediaimpacted uponcopyright issues?By Gabrielle Tawyer
Social media has grown…Social media has grown exponentially in the lastfew years and will continue this growth in thefuture. Technology such as Facebook, Twitter,LinkedIn, Instagram, Flickr and blogs are used tomeet new people, keep in touch with oldfriends, communicate with family overseas,present information to potential employees oras simple entertainment. This technology haschanged how we interact and connect andthe frequency at which we do this.
The rise of social media means we can nowrun our social lives without even leaving ourhomes, with most Facebook users primarilyusing the site to maintain friendships withpeople they communicate with on aregular basis in the offline world.
Social media analysts Social Bakers reportsthat 55.11% of the Australian population areFacebook users. In January 2012 it wasclaimed by Semiocast that they were 383million Twitter profiles worldwide, however,eMarketer predicts this will double by 2014.In 2011, The Week reported that LinkedIn iscatching up to Facebook and Twitter with100 million users at the time.
Copyright…Copyright in Australia is automatic andprotects the original expression of ideaseither on paper or electronically. However,it does not protect the ideas themselvesand does not protect against the creationof a similar work. Copyright protects suchcreations as books, films, music, computerprograms, sound recordings and mediabroadcasts. Copyright does not yet extendto tweets or Facebook statuses.
What happens when socialmedia meets copyright?Social media is commonly used to sharecontent amongst social networks. It allowspeople to repost, retweet or resendinformation, images or video created byothers. This ease of reproduction throughthe rapid growth of social media is noteffectively controlled by existing copyrightlaws, leaving content producers susceptibleto intellectual property theft. Reproductionis commonly seen through appropriation.
Appropriation occurs when existing content isaltered to offer content that is new andinteresting. A common source of appropriationis the lip synching videos that can be found onYouTube. Appropriation of music is a productionmethod that threatens intellectual propertyrights, especially if used for monetary gain.Watch the following YouTube video of a violinremix of popular song Don’t You Worry Child bySwedish House Mafia. Is this simply intellectualproperty theft or a creative appropriation thatadds to popular culture?
The future…It is unknown how social media will continue toimpact upon not only our social lives but alsointellectual property rights and copyright laws. Ifappropriating and reposting as your owncontent that has been produced online bysomeone else is not considered theft, it couldbe argued that appropriating and repostingsomeone’s personal information from Facebookor LinkedIn is not identity theft, creating a wholenew host of issues for internet users.
It has proven almost impossible forcopyright laws to keep up a pacecomparable to the growth of social media.
BibliographyAustralian Government, 2012. Copyright, viewed October 29 2012, <http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/get-the-right-ip/copyright/>.Huberman, B. A., Romero, D. M., and Wu, F., 2009. Social networks that matter: Twitter under the microscope, First Monday, vol.14, no. 1, January 5.Lamb, B., 2007. Why Educators Should Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Remix, EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 42, no.4, July/August, 12–25.Papacharissi, Z., 2009. The virtual geographies of social networks: a comparative analysis of Facebook, LinkedIn andASmallWorld, New Media & Society, vol. 11, 199.Social Bakers, 2012. Facebook statistics by country, viewed October 26 2012, <http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/?interval=last-week#chart-intervals>.‘LinkedIn’s Astonishing Growth: By the Numbers’, The Week, March 24 2011, viewed October 262012, <http://theweek.com/article/index/213445/linkedins-astonishing-growth-by-the-numbers>.Wasserman, T., 2012. ‘Facebook’s U.S. Growth Slowing But Twitter’s on a Tear (STUDY)’, Mashable, March 6, viewed October 262012, <http://mashable.com/2012/03/06/facebook-growth-slows/>.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dnro5EBrJzohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHsofjkJCp8www.twitter.comwww.facebook.comwww.geniusrecruiter.com