Change Whisperer – Gail Severini, Symphini Change Management Inc.

Why use © on Social Media on your profile name?
April 27, 2010, 2:00 pm
Filed under: - Innovation | Tags: , ,

Social Media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Blogs and Twitter,  are public forums where individuals from all over the world gather to discuss ideas, collaborate, debate and, in effect, publish.  As such, one’s content (opinions, knowledge, etc)  is exposed in an environment of implicit ‘trust’. 

However, it would be naive to assume that everyone in that public forum will treat the content with the same standards.  In fact, it is far more likely that individuals will use such forums, and perhaps content, for their own purposes whether that is self-promotion, learning or ‘research’.

In such public forums, such content is technically ‘public’, i.e. without protection, anyone may lift it and re-use it without permission.  And, in every public place, there are deceitful individuals who will ‘steal’ these opinions and knowledge and re-print for their own gain, with or without the appropriate citation.  Use of one’s content without citation is one problem – quoting one’s content with citation can also have repercussions – some perhaps positive, others negative. 

Use of the copyright symbol after one’s profile name is emerging as a means of explicitly signaling that there is a condition for re-use of any content published by that individual, i.e. that is it ‘owned’ and that permission is required for any re-use.   Of course, there would be ‘issues’ with enforcement and with prosecution of any infringement.  However, it seems reasonable that if you want to have any purview whatsoever over how your name and content might be used you might want to indicate this along with everything you publish.  This protocol provides for that at least.  On that basis, I have adopted the protocol.

Please be advised, I have not sought legal opinion in this post, it is merely a reflection of a limited amount of research and my personal opinion.  It should not be relied on for protection – rather you should consult with your own attorney.

Interested in others’ opinions, observations and experiences with this.

2 Comments so far
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I always thought that publishing anything (on paper or on the Internet) gave the author copyright unless copyright was specifically attributed to someone else. Therefore there was no need to use the copyright symbol or mention copyright on a blog. But I am not a lawyer and this is only my opinion. But I have seen others put the copyright symbol and notice on their blog and your argument may be correct. So where on your blog do you have the copyright?

Comment by George Farkas

Good points George. I thought I had put the copyright symbol on – and I did, but on the section that appears in directory listings. Thanks to your question I have now added it to the blog name.
You remind me of another point, I have seen some online publications with notification as to how to quote the source and that would be a good idea – I will look into that.
On the issue of the law, I’m sure I should get a written legal opinion. But until then I will keep content I might want to submit in magazine- or book-form offline until published.
Thanks for your comment. Cheers. Gail

Comment by Gail Severini ©

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