Reading time: 3 minutes

Many businesses are turning to services online for advertising and marketing purposes. Some of the well known available are social media websites. For business owners who actively post on social media to promote their goods or services, it would be helpful to understand the terms of service of your use and how your ownership of your copyright material may be affected.

Ownership and Licensing

Most social media websites do not claim to own any of the copyright material you have posted. Through your use, however, you do provide the social media platform with extensive rights in the form of licensing provisions. Many social media platforms may actually have very similar rights as the copyright holder. This would include rights to:

  • transfer their licensing rights;
  • sub-licence the copyright material; and
  • use of the copyright material on a royalty-free basis.

You should check with the social media platform to determine the exact level of licensing rights you agree to. Ownership and licensing clauses are particularly important to businesses in the creative industries or businesses that share valuable intellectual property.

Transfer of Risk

Although many social media platforms have such a wide-reaching licence, they typically have very narrow terms when it comes to risk. Effectively this means that many social media websites disclaim all liability from the items you post on the website. Further, there are often clauses minimising the liability on the social media platform.

Governing Law and Jurisdiction

In most instances, online businesses take the necessary steps to draft business terms and conditions for their website. These terms and conditions should have the relevant clauses that note down the governing law and the jurisdiction that applies to each transaction. The governing law refers to the laws that will apply to the transaction. The jurisdiction refers to the court where a dispute may be heard if one were to arise. If there are no business terms and conditions, parties to an online transaction may need to fork out extra legal costs to simply determine the issues mentioned above. For many of the larger social media platforms, you will notice that the governing law and jurisdiction clauses refer to the State of California.

Public Use

It is important to be wary of the extent at which your copyright material is available and allowed to be used by others. The uses may be as broad as copying your copyright material or distributing or modifying your material. Of course, as a business, this may end up being beneficial to you as it can allow for the viral spread of your material.

***

If you’re a business that is operating and using social media platforms, make sure you understand their Terms of Service particularly when it comes to the use of your copyright material.

Questions? Get in touch. 

Webinars

The COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout: Considerations for Employers

Thursday 22 April | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Are you a business owner or employer? Attend this webinar to learn about what you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Register Now

How to Recover Unpaid Invoices

Thursday 13 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
What do you do if your customers don't pay your invoices? Attend this webinar to learn about how to recover unpaid invoices.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.

The majority of our clients are LVConnect members. By becoming a member, you can stay ahead of legal issues while staying on top of costs. From just $119 per week, get all your contracts sorted, trade marks registered and questions answered by experienced business lawyers.

Learn more about LVConnect

Need Legal Help? Get a Free Fixed-Fee Quote

If you would like to receive a free fixed-fee quote or get in touch with our team, fill out the form below.

  • 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation – Finalist – Australasian Law Awards 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice – Winner – Australasian Lawyer 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards
  • Most Innovative Law Firm - 2019 Australasian Lawyer 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer