In the modern fast-paced world of social media, blogging and citizen journalism, it can be easy to forget about the intellectual property and rights issues intertwined with our daily lives. In fact, these are more important and tricky to navigate than ever. Websites and services such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, Alamy and WordPress are used daily by hundreds of millions of people uploading images, words and ideas, which they have created, but could these users be putting their rights on the line by doing so? Most will never read the lengthy, ever-changing terms and conditions hidden out of sight on these websites.

During today’s class we have been delving into the terms and conditions of a few of the websites, which we use most often – Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and Alamy.

After looking at the terms and conditions on these websites, I feel that it will be important to ensure my portfolio is secure under my own terms and conditions on my personal website, as well as on any websites or services that host any of my work. With Facebook, they, as the big guy, set the rules that we, the little guy, have to follow. Derivative licenses or those which allow the host site (Facebook, for example) free use of any of my work for any purpose on their site seem to be a particularly tricky area. It almost seems an abuse of power when we consider the size, reach and wealth of Facebook in comparison to a user. I will definitely reconsider posting any of my better images to the site in future due to my doubts over this area.

I feel happy that I now know the potential dangers of not taking care with my intellectual property, despite the laws which are now present to protect people like myself. Going forward, I will make sure to state that my images and content on my portfolio site are covered by copyright law, hopefully protecting my work.

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