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Protecting IPR in your own work

When posting your content on a social media website; you should always ensure that you are protecting any rights that belong to you and/or the university. Each website’s terms and conditions are different and you need to make sure that the receiving website is not claiming copyright to posted materials or that publication does not enter your content into the Public Domain.

All rights and ownership should remain with you and any consent should be 'non-exclusive' – allowing you to re-publish your content in other locations and in other media. You should also consider whether your content will be available publicly or can be controlled through privacy settings and only displayed to invited individuals or groups.

Many social media sites provide guidelines regarding publication and ownership, but these can be vague statements, at best, and should be considered carefully prior to publication of your content.

Examples:

Facebook.com

'…you retain the copyright to your content. When you upload your content, you grant us a license to use and display that content.'

Flickr.com

'Yahoo! (Flickr Owner) respects the intellectual property of authors and creators and we ask our users to do the same.'

Prior publication

You should also consider how posting content on the internet may affect future uses of that content. Academic materials may be seen as having 'Prior Publication' which could adversely influence your ability to find a publisher for research papers or a book.

IPR in the works of others

Under UK law copyright material sent over the Internet or stored on web servers will generally be protected in the same way as material in other media. Anyone wishing to put copyright material on the Internet, or distribute or download material that others have placed on the Internet, should ensure that they have the permission of the owners of rights in the material unless copyright exceptions apply.

Unless you have explicit permission from the copyright owner or the materials have been made available through an open copyright arrangement (Creative Commons), it is always safest not to republish or share another’s work.

Whilst it is often allowable to include short extracts of source materials for review or comment; it remains safest to gain permission before use and always provide references to the original source; where it exists. Remember that you are representing the University of Cumbria online.

The casual nature of social media can promote a relaxed attitude to rights issues, but you should remember that the laws regarding copyright and intellectual property rights still apply.

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