What’s mine is yours?

Can copyright infringement be effectively monitored in the social media world?

Remember Napster, the music file sharing website that broke music copyright infringement laws and was court ordered to shut down in 2001? The world of Napster was only uncovered when musicians discovered their unreleased songs were in circulation. This led to musicians & record companies’ discovering catalogues of their music being shared and stating loss of sales and profits subsequently leading to legal action being taken.

In the world of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the increasingly popular online pin board- Pinterest where data is shared by the masses can copyright laws be easily enforced?

Pinterest has come under scrutiny as the site is heavily image based. There are concerns users may risk being sued for copyright infringement for images they have pinned without the original owners permission. ‘Pinterest also introduced the “no-pin tag” — meaning those who wanted to stay off the site had a simple but firm way of letting pinners know.’

Twitter has recently introduced a new policy to leave placeholder messages in place of a removed twitter message that has received a complaint from a copyright holder. Prior to this policy twitter messages were removed with no explanation.

Back in 2011 Facebook was brought into the spotlight for their aggressive stance on copyright infringement. If a third party claimed a page infringed on their copyright instead of further investigating the complaint and verifying the email address the complaint was made from, Facebook’s solution was to simply remove the page. This policy has left room for third parties to falsely accuse pages of copyright infringement resulting in innocent Facebook pages being removed.

Written in an article by www.infowars.com in October 2012, Facebook are now censoring political posts as ‘hate speech’.  Reading this article did make me think just how closely our movements, opinions etc are being monitored Big Brother. See what you think after reading this article.

If a user posts an image without permission of the original user but gives credit to them and links to their website (if they have one) with no monetary gain is this still infringement? Depending on its popularity the owner of the image will benefit from the extra attention. This would still be considered an infringement of copyright even when all those concerned are benefitting.

Perhaps it’s time to rethink the current copyright laws as the boundaries can get a bit blurry.









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