IP for Social Media Influencers and Content Creators

Social media influence is one of the most powerful and successful methods of marketing and advertising. According to a recent study conducted by Adlift, India’s influencer market is valued at $75-$150 million, while the international influencer market is valued at $1.75 billion and is likely to rise further. However, as social media platforms gain more participants and are openly available, influencers, YouTubers, and artists become increasingly vulnerable to specific legal concerns regarding Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).

Why is IP Important for Influencers?

As a social media influencer, your content gets consumed daily on different platforms. With this, you ought to understand that your unique content is easily accessible to millions of users and is replicable. It is very important to understand and protect your intellectual property.

While creating content, it is also very important to understand that before using the creative works of others in videos, photos, or the text of social media posts, social media influencers ensure that they have sufficient authorization.

Important IP Rights to Understand

Copyright: It is an intellectual property that protects authorial works such as photographs, movies, written text, artwork, sound recordings, and other creative things. Read more about our services for copyrighting here.

Trademark: This is a type of intellectual property that is used to identify and differentiate the source of one seller’s goods and services from those of another. Read more about our services for trademarking here.

Domain name: A domain name is your website address. This is what customers type into their browser’s search box to get to your website. A domain name is unique and should not be shared by several websites. Read more on how we can help you with domain names and other disputes here.

India being a common law country, provides protection to unregistered trademarks.   Also, since India is a signatory to the Berne Convention, it is not mandatory to register copyright and the ownership can be claimed over unregistered copyright.

However, there are several reasons to register your intellectual property, including:

  • To establish ownership of intellectual property rights which helps in enforcing rights in case of any disputes.
  • Registered IP becomes more liable and legit: If your content is registered, consumers tend to find your content more reliable and would return to your website/platforms
  • It is easier to get replicated content down if your IP is registered: If you find someone misusing or recreating your content, it is easier for it to be taken down if your content is registered as compared to unregistered IP, which requires strong evidence in support.
  • Avoiding replications altogether: If registered, people would not want to replicate your content in the first place as the registration will help discourage any copying.

Being Responsible as an Influencer

Influencers should ensure that they are always following the necessary rules and regulations on influencer marketing, such as correctly labelling ad material, giveaways, and regulated products. It is also important that influencers follow any contracts that have been established between them and the brand. You can read more on influencer marketing and guidelines for influencer advertising in social media here.

It is critical that you follow the terms and conditions of the applicable social media platform. Ignoring these rules may result in your account being permanently deleted, which might mean losing the followers you’ve worked so hard to obtain. This may also imply that brands may decide to end their partnership with you.

If you want to cite another creator or use their work on your social network, make sure you get permission first. If you make any direct references to another brand, including their products or services, you should seek permission from them first.

To Sum Up

With the internet growing at a fast pace, as a social media influencer and content creator, it is very important to be careful and protect your content. Choose your policy deliberately when your brand is contacted for material, since your decisions might have a huge impact on the growth of your social media accounts.

Similarly, also respect other creators’ rights and always take permission if you want to replicate or recreate any content.

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