Can Facebook Steal My Stuff? Your Intellectual Property Rights on Social Media
Abstract: This article explores major social media worldwide--Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Tiktok, YouTube--from the perspective of an intellectual property specialist whose concern is to protect the content of individuals posting on those services. It examines Facebook's policies on ownership, distribution, sublicensing and royalties, which also apply to its wholly owned subsidiaries, WhatsApp and Instagram. Similar topics are analyzed for YouTube, TikTok and the only independently owned major platform, Snapchat. The article also explores instructional uses for select platforms, balanced against such risks as identity exposure, loss of control over creative content and possible interference by foreign governments in the case of Tiktok.