Protecting your copyright on social media takes consideration

If you work with social media, you know that you have to be cautious about what you put online and how you put it there. Not following the right steps could end up causing you to lose your rights. Then, all the work you put into your content would be worth little to you and could end up making money for others.

Whenever you upload content online, you need to know the rules and regulations of the website you're using. The only way to maintain complete control is only to upload images and videos to your own website and to assert your copyright on the page. If you use other services, you're at their mercy.

Why do social media giants want control of your content?

The reason these companies want to gain control is because they can take content and use it to expand and bring in new users. With every new user, the website has more traffic and earns more from advertisers. Over time, applying user-generated content means that the social media platform gets free marketing and free services provided by the users themselves.

Why would users want to give up some of their rights to post on a social media network?

Many people don't realize how much control they're giving up, but those who do recognize this fact understand that it's a trade. In exchange for putting images and content online on platforms and getting exposure, they're giving the companies a right to use their content for the companies' own purposes.

How can you protect yourself on social media platforms?

On social media platforms, you'll see that there are terms and conditions listed. It's up to you to read those terms and conditions and to decide if they're a good fit for your content.

For example, one website might say it can use your content for marketing purposes without paying you. Another may say you give up full rights to your content and that it becomes the network's property, following upload. Be cautious about where you upload, or you could find you've lost more rights than you thought.

As a creator, your copyright is an important part of your business. Before you choose to upload to the crowd or a site where you want to share your work, talk to your attorney and make sure it's the right choice for you. The contract you sign may make you give up your copyright when you're not expecting it to.

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