I recently wrote a post on whether companies can make a copyright claim under the DMCA to take down videos off of YouTube that may infringe on its rights. The issue took place in the sport of mixed martial arts where an individual took video of a conversation that took place between an official and an athlete which has sparked some controversy. Please see below.
Can you get in trouble for retweeting a photo?
Twitter’s latest update allows users to embed photos, videos, and article summaries. While these are additional conveniences for tweeters, the question arises regarding attribution and copyright.
A court in the Southern District of New York ruled that the Washington Post and Agency France-Presse (AFP) nfringed on a photographers photos by retweeting his photo for a commercial use. However, the photographer’s damages claim were limited.
Reuters reports that the judge ruled that while Twitter’s terms of service allows for republishing and rebroadcasting of user’s images in certain circumstances there is no license for a commercial use.
In this particular case, a photographer covering the Haiti earthquake tweeted his photos. They were picked up by the Post and AFP and the photographer subsequently sued the companies.
The case provides some guidance on the ownership in social media. While many of us retweet and reblog with impunity, companies must think twice if its done for a commercial use. If you are a photographer or someone that posts original works, the case is informative as it lets you know that you have rights and means to protect yourself in social media.
If you are interested on learning more please contact a social media lawyer.
The Social Networking Online Protection Act was reintroduced in Congress earlier this month. The bill seeks to protect the digital privacy rights of employees, job applicants and students from overreaching employers or prospective employers.
The bill states its purpose as follows:
“To prohibit employers and certain other entities from requiring or requesting that employees and certain other individuals provide a user name, password, or other means for accessing a personal account on any social networking website.”
The bill is said to provide a legal liability shield for businesses and educational institutions as well as individuals. Through this bill its believed that these protections would facilitate online use.
Washington state has a similar bill which is making its way through the legislative process. If passed, SNOPA would ensure protections for online users.
In today’s society, most people are connected via social media through Facebook, Twitter or some other social networking site. But, can what you post personally be accessed by your employer or a prospective employer? In Washington, a bill is being proposed to prevent employers from requesting social networking accounts and profile information of employers or prospective employers.
Washington state Senate Bill 6637 states that employers cannot require, “directly or indirectly, as a condition of employment or continued employment,” any password in order for the employer to access their social networking account. However, the bill goes on to state that it does not prevent an employer from obtaining information that may be in the public domain.
The proposed legislation would mean that employers could not request information from your Facebook or Twitter accounts as terms for your employment. If this occurs, the law would allow for the employee or prospective employee to sue under the law.
However, this would not prevent an employer from doing a web search to find the information online. Despite the proposed law, an employee or prospective employee may still have their information found by the employer. The prudent thing to do is to visit your privacy settings and see what the public may see. Also, be careful of what you post or say online if you are concerned about it hurting you in the future.
The proposed legislation is sought to be added to RCW 49.44.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a social media lawyer.