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Social media and copyright infringement in Atlanta


Social media networking sites are now a staple for many individual and business communication. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 74 percent of adults in Georgia and across the country who are online are using social media. These users are having discussions and sharing information, often copying and pasting links and quotes.

While it is beneficial for people to be able to interact in this way, sharing information incorrectly can actually do harm to the people who create original content. Take, for example, a blogger who has an established website that generates income due to advertising and sponsorships. For this entrepreneur, every click on the website matters. If someone were to take one of the blogger’s articles, copy and paste it without asking permission or citing the original source, it could understandably be problematic and frustrating.

This is where copyright law and fair use comes into play. Generally, anyone who creates an original work has copyright protection. Under copyright law, people who create original work are permitted to limit the use of that work. However, under the doctrine of fair use, someone may use portions of that work without the author’s permission, such as in the following examples: 

  •        Making copies of an article for students in a classroom
  •        Citing part of a work for comment or criticism
  •        Using the work in a research paper
  •        Parody

Posting copyrighted material in social media without permission or through plagiarism poses a problem. It could affect the value of the work or otherwise interfere with its marketability. For protection, users who want to share copyrighted work should check with the original source and provide links to the original source. There may also be terms on the original post that discusses how to fairly repost the content.

People who feel their copyright has been infringed are able to take legal recourse against those who commit the wrongdoing. The penalties could include paying monetary damages as well as criminal penalties including imprisonment.

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