How to Prevent Copyright Infringement on Social Media
In today’s mobile internet era, social media channels such as Weibo and WeChat have become an essential tool in most enterprise companies’ marketing arsenals. However, enterprises often fail to pay enough attention to copyright issues when operating their official accounts. The 2016 White Paper on WeChat Intellectual Property Protection, released by Tencent, shows that there were more than 13,000 intellectual property complaints relating to WeChat during 2015, of which more than 40% were copyright-related. The number of copyright lawsuits is also growing fast in China’s social media space. In a recent matter, Visual China Group (VCG), a leading visual content provider, sued Tencent for RMB 180,000 for using 9 images without acknowledgement. The court handed down a decision ordering Tencent to pay VCG RMB 40,000 in the end, and the case generated a high level of public interest. It is important to note, however, that the speed and fragmented nature of social media imposes new challenges for the application of copyright law in China. This article will analyze how to prevent inadvertent copyright infringement on enterprise social media accounts.