The role of copyright on social media…Memes!!


The lecture this week got me thinking about social media and copyright. I asked myself the question, if copyright is so strict how do people get away with posting memes? They are basically copied images with slight variations.

Memes are a form of cultural and creative expression, they can even be forms of propaganda . Memes are also by nature, made (most of the time) with light-hearted intentions, but copyright still exists. If you look at the work of Lawrence Lessig in his blog post “Chapter One: Creators” he raises questions as to “How much, and how broadly, is the culture free for others to take and build upon?”

As discussed by David Newhoff sites such as Facebook allow the spread of memes as they are protected by “safe harbour provisions” which permit the site to be shielded by the fact that the content is uploaded by users. It would be different if a person copied something on their own website. So this presents hope– divide and conquer people, spread memes, spread new ideas!


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