To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Social Media and Intellectual Property Issues

Knobbe Martens

Social media platforms are very useful, but they also create legal issues. Without question, social media has changed the way businesses communicate with their clients and consumers. Likewise, social media has changed the way businesses use their intellectual property (IP). Most companies use some form of social media to advertise and promote their brands. Those companies that keep IP issues in mind as they utilize social media will increase the awareness of their brands among targeted demographics. Those companies that misuse their IP in social media will only increase what they spend on lawyers.

Social media allows a company to easily post comments, quotes, photographs, videos, and music. However, posting and distributing such works without permission may infringe on the IP rights of others. Companies should work with counsel to establish a social media policy, terms of use, and policies for employees and independent contractors to minimize the risk of violating the IP rights of others...

Originally published in the Orange County Business Journal - October 19-25, 2015.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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