Digital Copyright Issues

Social Media and Copyright Law

According to the site, there are over 3 billion internet users globally. Of those, there are over 2 billion active social media accounts, and more than 1.6 billion active mobile social accounts with an expected growth of 23% in 2015.  Facebook reports more than 1.3 billion monthly active users; 890 million of those users visit every day. And according to, already today (before noon EST), over 351 million tweets have been sent!  But what do these statistics have to do with copyright, or what are the digital copyright issues?

The volume of content that is shared each day and the ease with which it can be duplicated and republished leaves owners of content vulnerable to infringement. On the flipside, those who share and publish content want to do so within the parameters of the law. But what is the law? And what are the rules when it comes to digital copyright issues?

Tweets, Blog Posts, and More

In short, most online content is protected by copyright – easily said, but how do content owners ensure that their content is only being used with authorization? And for those who use and share digital content, when do you need to obtain permission? Emails are protected by copyright, but do you need permission to forward an email? And are your tweets protected by copyright? Maybe! Blog posts are protected by copyright, but what if the blog post has a Creative Commons license – does that change the rules of use? And what about images found through a Google search? Permission to use those images is needed in some circumstances but not in all circumstances.

Copyright Solutions for the Digital Age

The online course Copyright Solutions for the Digital Age is designed to answer your questions about digital copyright issues. Offered in conjunction with Special Libraries Association from 2 – 16 May 2016, this three-week course consists of 3 live webinars, readings, a discussion list, and end-of-course assessment.

Issues covered include:

  • what online content is protected by copyright
  • who owns online content
  • a digital licensing overview
  • copyright treatment of specific digital uses of content including scanning/digitizing; online content; manipulating digital images; file-sharing; electronic reserves and online course material; teaching online/distance education; e-mail; linking; framing; discussions lists such as listservs, bulletin boards and newsgroups; browsing; caching; blogs; news feeds; downloading; printing; e-transfer; e-archiving, digital libraries and digital library projects; digital databases of articles; internal v. external uses; wikis; user-generated content; and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter
  • digital rights management (DRM)
  • the future of digital copyright

What recent participants say about this course:

“I have only recently been involved with copyright and the course really helped solidify some of the concepts I’ve already been exposed to, as well as exposed me to issues I may not otherwise have considered.”

“All of the organizations I work for, and volunteer for, use Web 2.0 technology…. I’m sure that many other organizations will be headed in this direction so I want to be prepared.”

“Through this course, I’ve realized how much work we have [to do] in order to prepare ourselves and those across our practice to be compliant in these areas.  The material you provided is exceptionally helpful and insightful.”

“…CCM400 will relate to my day-to-day job.  I am already planning to present my newly acquired knowledge with my co-workers at a staff meeting.”

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