|Title:||Technological “Nudges” and Copyright on Social Media Sites|
|Author(s):||Corinne H.Y. Tan|
|Citation:||Tan, C.H.Y. (2015) Technological “Nudges” and Copyright on Social Media Sites. IPQ Issue 1.|
|Key Related Studies:|
|Linked by:||Tan (2014)|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The study is composed of an analysis of the technological features of large social media sites, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Wikipedia. The author then examines potential user behaviours generated by these features in light of US, UK, and Australian copyright law.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||Yes|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:|
"Using an adapted taxonomy, this article identifies the technological features on predominant social media sites—Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Wikipedia—that encourage and constrain users from engaging in generative activities. Notwithstanding the conflicting narrative painted by recent litigation around copyright in relation to content on social media sites, I observe that some of the main technological features on social media sites are designed around copyright considerations. References are made to the legal positions in the US, the UK and Australia. I argue that users of social media sites are subject to the mixed signals given by those sites, as a result of which they are unfairly exposed to the risks of allegations of copyright infringement. Given the ubiquitous usage of social media sites, the article questions the resulting vulnerability of users who act under the influence of these sites, and hopes to stimulate further discussion in this area."
Main Results of the Study
Social media sites emit mixed signals to users, which simultaneously encourage and discourage generative behaviours. There is a noted gap between what users should know and do, and what is actually practised following encouragement from such sites.
Of the four sites surveyed, YouTube provides the clearest means of inducing generative behaviour, by encouraging creation, modification and dissemination through technological features (such as multiplicities of uploading techniques, capacity to share etc.). Such features may, unduly, give the impression that users are entitled to share otherwise protected work.
Technological mechanisms embody copyright considerations, and as such constrain these generative behaviours. Notice and takedown mechanisms are integrated within social media sites by merit of the DMCA, though web forms presented to users are an additional “convenience” not stipulated by legislation. Sharing capabilities are intrinsically linked to the right of attribution, as author identification is irremovable in most sharing options. Finally, filtering systems attempt to make some consideration of “fair use” exemptions.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Whilst the author does not make any explicit policy recommendations, they highlight how users are exposed to confusing and mixed signals from social media sites. Furthermore, they note that despite these signals, users are not afforded the same “safe harbour” protection as online intermediaries, and are thus exposed to a high-risk environment. As such, the author cautions against importing a vision of an “informed” user into copyright law, which has been suggested in recent copyright litigation.