Copyright for posts on social media?

By Nicole Pérez, associate lawyer at CLD Legal.

Do I have to register my Instagram posts?

The internet and social media have changed the way we share content. Before, it was necessary to buy books, magazines, among other literary works to consume content and to publish said content, it was necessary to have a budget for publication. Certainly, although this is still a thriving industry, much of the content we publish and consume today is through social media.

In response to these changes and in order to facilitate the protection of this type of works, the United States Copyright Office has created a special registration process for this type of works, called “Group Registration of Short Literary Works”  or GRTX for its acronyms.

In addition to having the usual creativity and originality requirements, in order to request this type of registration with the office, the work must meet the following requirements:

  1. The work must have between 50 to 17,500 words.
  2. The works to be registered must be created by the same author, or they must be created by the same authors in co-authorship.
  3. The author or authors must appear as the owner.
  4. The works to be registered must have been published within a period of 3 months on social media platforms.

It should be noted that those works that consist of graphic elements, and have photographs or designs, cannot be registered under this option and will have to resort to the registration of other types of works such as photographic works, for example, they cannot be registered under this class either. , those works known as commissioned works.

What about emojis in text?

Short literary works may have emojis as part of their text, however, they may not consist only of the use of numbers, emojis, or special characters, they must meet a minimum of 50 words used. If within those 50 words, the text includes emojis, the way the text is expressed will be recorded.

Can I register my post?

If your post complies with what is explained above, you can request registration with the Copyright Office of the United States, this is valid for posts on blogs, social networks such as Instagram and even the 240 characters allowed on twitter.

Clearly, for these works to be protected by Copyright, they must have the minimum requirements that every work must have in order to be susceptible to this type of rights.

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