A very recent episode that I came across was that a few pictures which I had clicked for a review were shamelessly stolen from the official page of Mystic Foodie Mantra and posted by a blogger in her blog Gluttony Goddess. After we put enough pressure on her to remove the blog post, she yielded. Given Below are some of the screenshots of a conversation with her.
But the more serious thing was that it left my mind perplexed as to how information shared on social media has become so vulnerable. There is so much free flow of information in the World Wide Web esp. in the social media on a daily basis that it has become a piece of cake to exploit someone else’s hard work and publish it as your own in utter disrespect to the intellectual property laws.
When a person clicks a picture, that picture attains his copyright as soon as it is clicked. It does not require any kind of statutory registration. Same goes for other artistic or creative work such as writing a book, article, blog, poetry or a song.
Copyright infringement is becoming more and more common with each passing day but the infringers are mistaking this free flow of data as freely usable data. It is not easy for copied data to get unnoticed. It is also not easy for the infringer to claim that the data published by him belongs to him as with a little bit of probing it can be easily found out who published it first.
The most ludicrous thing for social media users would be to assume that providing credit for a work or perhaps a link to a webpage will avoid a claim of copyright infringement. The copyright holder has exclusive rights to publish his or her work. Simply giving credit shall in no way immunize a secondary user from a possible infringement claim.
Also, almost all the social networking or picture sharing websites make the users agree to their terms and conditions which include accepting the liability for an infringement claim, which may be brought by an author of the content.
Social media has crossed the stage of infancy and has been there for quite a while now. Still the authors will have to protect their own works as there is still a great scope of development in this field.