Tag Archives: social media

Facebook Community Pages and the use of YOUR IP

Back in August 2010, Facebook launched their “community pages”.  In the spirit of social media and “shared knowledge” these pages are auto generated from content that is available online under a creative commons licence (mainly but not exclusively from Wikipedia entries).

But what if you don’t like what is written on your organisation’s auto generated community page?  From Facebook help centre:

“Can I edit the content on a community page?

No. Community pages display Wikipedia articles about the topics they represent when this information is available, as well as related posts from people on Facebook in real time. At this time, there is no way for you to add your own pictures or edit information on these pages.”

No?  This seems more than a little unfair.  Especially when the pages are often accompanied with official logos and it is not always clear which pages are owner generated, and which are auto generated…  From IPfrontline.com, “Facebook Community Pages Can Jeopardize Trademarks and Brands

“Users can easily be confused between official pages and community pages. For instance, when a user searches for Dr. Pepper using Facebook’s search bar, many “Dr. Pepper” pages pop up. The consumer can’t tell immediately whether it’s a community page, a fan page, or the official page…”

Help is at hand however, even if it’s not so widely publicised.  Download and read the following article: “Brand Owners Can Now Reclaim Facebook Community Pages” for more information on Community Pages, and steps you can take to reclaim your one if you need to.  See also “Have You Claimed Your Facebook Community Page Yet? Here’s How…”  and “How To: Claim Your Facebook Community Page” (Be sure to read the comments too as its not so straight forward.)

The Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP article also says:

“Facebook’s Community Pages are an excellent example of why brand owners should take a proactive approach to social media and have a clear social media brand protection strategy in place. This is not only important for a brand owner to fulfill its duty to police the marketplace but also to ensure that a brand owner has current information about the constantly changing state of social media. There is little doubt that brand owners will continue to see many new developments in the social media space”

For more information on this topic read also the Social Media Examiner article: “Facebook Community Pages: What Your Business Needs to Know

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Social media for science; be ready with some IP guidelines

Recent article on SciDevNet encouraging scientists to better utilise social media networks.  “How scientists can reach out with social media” They say:

“The general public has the power to deny your funding or restrict your experiments. It’s important to reach outside your laboratories, offices and field stations to engage with the wider world, to show people that science is essential and that researchers are working hard to help address important issues”

And the article goes on to give some great practical advice about how this can happen.  IP practitioners need to be aware of these efforts, and also be ready to insert IP relevant content into social media guidelines that might be produced.  I have blogged on this subject in the past, see “IP issues in social media networks” – this is an important area that will only grow in relevance.

The FAO have a comprehensive Social Media Policy which anyone can access.  It includes information and advice for their employees about copyrights,  logo use, as well as disclaimer usage, and guidelines about which blogs should be considered “official” and which not, and how that distinction is made.

More and more we will need to think about the usage of these tools and how they are maintained so not to loose any built value, or valuable user names.  Think of a simple example whereby a social media account might be built, and then access lost once the employee who was maintaining it moves on.

Back to the original item.  The advice from SciDevNet is good advice.  Social media noise is a great way to get science noticed and communicated to a broader audience.  Just be aware of the wider implications from an IP perspective, and be ready to act accordingly.

The Vatican, blogging & copyright

I was reading about a recent meeting of bloggers in Rome, organised by the Vatican.  The post from Techdirt:  “Could The Ultimate Legacy Organization – The Vatican – Be Out In Front On Copyright?” reports that:

“Italian blogger and author Mattia Marasco highlighted the importance of attribution, but said that copyright is “an old model,” when it comes to new media…

…The Vatican also announced an upcoming News.va website, which will make extensive use of social media and apparently use a non-commercial Creative Commons license”

In a Pontifical Council for Social Communications blog post about the event (which is unfortunately available only in Italian) there was mention of the importance not just of communication, but also of interaction. Listening and responding to feedback and responses to gauge how the message has been received.   Social media tools are perfect for this approach. 

For those involved in public sector communication, it would be well worth watching how the Vatican embraces new media, and how it deals with copyrights.  They have, after all, a very long history of communicating content!

IP issues in social media networks

I listened to, and watched a very interesting presentation from Venable LLP’s Jeff Tenenbaum and A.J. Zottola – a webinar entitled: “The Legal Aspects of Social Media: What Every Association Needs to Know“.

This is relatively new territory and the legal world is applying existing rules to new platforms so things are only starting to become clear now.  One area that has much relevance to us is copyright.  In the presentation slides they say:

“Be mindful of copyright ownership.  Social media is primarily about the content… who owns work on social media?”

They went on to talk about the need for a  written assignment of rights to clarify this.  But as we know the copyright issue also goes further than this.  Social media platforms are created to share content, it is therefore imperative that for those participating in social networks to be clear about who owns the content they are disseminating, and the permissible uses of that content by others. The rules of the 3rd party platform need also to be considered.

Again this isn’t new per se, but its common that the use of these things grow organically.  Perhaps when starting with social media it wasn’t clear how much the platform would or could be used, and therefore IP considerations may not have seemed important.  However, if use of a social media has grown and become part of a larger function of your project or organisation it is probably time to revisit that tool and consider terms of use, policies and disclaimers (where relevant).

Venable include a list a useful Checklist for Social Media Legal Notices and Policies, which you might like to consider.

(thanks to Victoria for sending me the link)