We live in a world where technological growth is fast rising. It is moving so fast that everything gets easier to do and revamped daily, and because of this, there is the need for a law protecting people’s inventions. Among several other means people’s right could be trampled upon is through social media and intellectual property issues that could arise may border
on trademark, copyright, patent rights and trade secrets.
Social media is used by small and large scale business owners to promote their businesses and different pictures with their logos, on Instagram, twitter, Facebook and the likes. Also, people post their personal pictures online and an unauthorized use of these pictures without permission from the original owner could result into a legal issue.
S. l (1) of the Copyright Act 2004 lists literary, musical and artistic works, cinematograph films, sound recordings and broadcast to be forms of copyright. For a person to claim the copyright of a work, it must be originally created by him and fixated. By originality, this means that the work was created by himself/herself or it was as a result of the person’s hard work or idea as the case may be.
People view social media as a lawless society where one is free to repost pictures, copy peoples work unlawfully and in almost all cases go free, as a result of the fact that many people do not take steps to protect their intellectual property.
However, in developed countries, there are cases in which people have been prosecuted for infringement on social media such as the case of MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., 545 U.S. 913 (2005). The emergence of such concepts as tags and repost options or apps equally reflect increasing regard for the intellectual property rights of content creators as they allow users give credit to content owners or creators.
The above being said, it is important to stress that as we continue to use social media, we must be aware of the rights attached to the content put up by various users and seek legal advice before releasing a work on or making use of a work accessed via social media to ensure adequate protection of our intellectual property and avoid infringing on the intellectual property rights of other social media users.