Who 'owns' social content?


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Stephen Von Muenster's presentation on 'Who owns social conent?' from SMCSYD's 8th event

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Who 'owns' social content?

  1. 1. WHO ‘OWNS’ SOCIAL CONTENT? EVENT # 8 SMCSYD 19 APRIL 2010 Stephen von Muenster Principal P: 02 8221 0933 F: 02 8221 0934 M: 0417 724 573 E: stephen@vmsolicitors.com.au www.vmsolicitors.com.au
  2. 2. SOCIAL CONTENT: OVERVIEW <ul><li>So we can move to our discussion and debate, let’s examine the legal WHO WHAT WHERE WHEN & WHY: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Content: Where is it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Content: What protects it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Content: Who owns it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Content: When can I use it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Content: Why should I care? </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. SOCIAL CONTENT: WHERE IS IT? <ul><li>Blog sites (niche sites, reviews & forums) </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis & information sites (Wikipedia) </li></ul><ul><li>Content sharing sites (Flickr, YouTube) </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networking sites (Facebook, Twitter) </li></ul><ul><li>Game & virtual worlds (Second Life) </li></ul><ul><li>Brand microsites </li></ul>
  4. 4. SOCIAL CONTENT: WHAT PROTECTS IT? <ul><li>Australia: Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth) </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright exists automatically upon creation of original works by a person </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright protects from unauthorised use of original books, computer programs, scripts, lyrics, paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, musical scores, films, videos, broadcasts, sound recordings and content containing combinations of these </li></ul><ul><li>The copyright owner has exclusive rights eg to communicate the work to the public (broadcast or place on the Internet) and to reproduce the work </li></ul>
  5. 5. SOCIAL CONTENT: WHAT PROTECTS IT? <ul><li>In Australia under the Copyright Act there is a parallel set of rights to copyright which content creators enjoy, known as Moral Rights. </li></ul><ul><li>Moral rights exist independently from the copyright that may exist in original content </li></ul><ul><li>The key moral rights recognised are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The right to be identified as the author of a work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the right to prevent a person falsely suggesting or stating that they are the author of a work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the right not to have the work subject to any derogatory treatment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>International copyright: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Australia enforces OS copyrights under treaties & conventions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Treaty countries extend the same copyright protection to works created by nationals of other countries as they do to works created by their own nationals </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. SOCIAL CONTENT: WHO OWNS IT? <ul><li>The general rule is that the ‘creators’ of ‘original’ social content are the copyright owners </li></ul><ul><li>Exceptions to ownership or changes to exclusive rights where site rules say so: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog sites: usually comments owned by contributors but eg Yahoo!7 : “ your Contributions automatically become the property of Yahoo!7 without any obligation of Yahoo!7 to you ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content Sharing sites: usually social content owned by contributor: Eg You Tube : “ For clarity, you retain all of your ownership rights in your User Submissions ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Networking sites: usually social content owned by contributor: Eg Facebook : “ You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook ”; Twitter : “ You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brand mircosites: Conditions of uploading content often provide for unconditional brand ownership </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. SOCIAL CONTENT: WHEN CAN I USE IT? <ul><li>Freely Viewed ≠ Freely Used: check the site </li></ul><ul><li>When it is “public domain”: copyright expired [life of creator + 70 years] </li></ul><ul><li>When there is “express” permission: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open knowledge – site says you can just use content in any way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content licence – site says you can only use content in certain ways </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative Commons Licence – the 6 licenses: “Some Rights Reserved” instead of “All Rights Reserved” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Through a copyright collecting society or broker (eg Getty Images) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content sharing or social networking sites via permissions architecture: eg Facebook content is published using the &quot;everyone&quot; setting, but only for purpose of the site (not elsewhere online or offline) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By contacting the social content creator & ASKING! </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. SOCIAL CONTENT: WHY SHOULD I CARE? <ul><li>Creator’s of social content are continually breaching copyright – scraping content, mashing up content, re-purposing content to create their content </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright in social content is also being infringed constantly – from sharing of content to further mashing up </li></ul><ul><li>For use that is inconsistent with copyright owners rights, you might be subject to a court injunction and/or damages claim anywhere in the world </li></ul><ul><li>Depends on how you want to use it and where you found it </li></ul><ul><li>But how can social content be truly “social” - perhaps what is needed is a “fair use” regime that strikes the right balance </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think? </li></ul>