Sublicenses and Unintended Sublicenses in Social Media

Mitigating Risks to IP Rights, Third-Party License Managers in Social Media Disputes

A live 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with interactive Q&A


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will guide counsel on sublicenses and unintended sublicenses through social media and IP rights implications. The panel will discuss recent litigation that demonstrates the risks to IP rights and steps that can be taken to mitigate these risks. The panel will also discuss third-party license managers and their involvement in social media disputes.

Description

Both individual and corporate social media account holders often take steps to get as much attention as possible. While this use of social media may be a relatively inexpensive way to advertise, it is not without risks. Using social media platforms can have unintended consequences that put intellectual property rights at risk.

A federal district court determined a professional photographer, who owns the copyright to a photo, unknowingly granted a sublicense to a company that allowed it to embed her photo in an article after the photographer denied the company's request for a license. Sinclair v. Ziff Davis L.L.C. and Mashable Inc. (S.D.N.Y. 2020). The court concluded that the photographer's post of her photo on her Instagram account put her photo at risk and, ultimately, resulted in relinquishing her IP rights. Under Instagram's terms and conditions, the court found, users can use an API to access and share content posted by other users. But, in the case of McGucken v. Newsweek (S.D.N.Y. 2020) the court reached a different conclusion. In that case, the court found that an artist who posts her work to Instagram does not relinquish her IP rights in the work and that third parties do not have a sub-license to use that work. The Sinclair court, relying on McGucken, then reconsidered its decision and allowed the artist to proceed with her case.

Since the pandemic, even more companies, artists, photographers, and others have turned to social media to promote their products and art. Further, there has been an uptick in copyright infringement and third-party "license manager" involvement in social media disputes. Counsel must understand how to protect works and mitigate risks that arise when using social media.

Listen as our authoritative panel of IP attorneys examines sublicenses and unintended sublicenses through social media and IP rights implications. The panel will discuss recent litigation that demonstrates the risks to IP rights and steps that can be taken to mitigate these risks. The panel will also discuss third-party "license managers" and their involvement in social media disputes.

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Outline

  1. Sublicenses and social media
  2. Unintended sublicenses through social media
  3. Implications for IP rights
  4. Recent litigation
  5. Steps to mitigate risk
  6. Third-party license managers in social media disputes

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are best practices to protect IP rights from unintended sublicenses by social media site users without losing the marketing advantages?
  • What lessons can be learned about sublicenses through social media from recent litigation?
  • What steps can counsel take to mitigate the risk to IP rights from other social media users?

Faculty

Burroughs, Scott
Scott Alan Burroughs

Partner
Doniger / Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs specializes in the protection of intellectual property and the enforcement of artists’ rights. He...  |  Read More

Hobbs, Michael
Michael D. (Mike) Hobbs, Jr.

Partner
Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders

Mr. Hobbs focuses his practice on intellectual property, dividing his time between litigation and client counseling in...  |  Read More

Linn, Janet
Janet B. Linn

Counsel
Tarter Krinsky & Drogin

Ms. Linn is an intellectual property litigator with more than 25 years of experience trying and litigating patent,...  |  Read More

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