The Cost Of Going Viral ' Intellectual Property Perspectives

Published date05 April 2024
Subject MatterIntellectual Property, Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment, Copyright, Social Media
Law FirmAzmi & Associates
AuthorMs Azarith Sofia Aziz and Khaliesah Yusri Kamaruzaman

In today's digital era, going viral is often seen as the ultimate achievement in social media, a gateway to instant fame and widespread recognition. For individuals, it can mean the rapid accumulation of followers, an expanded digital footprint, and often, a fast track to online influencer status. Brands, on the other hand, can achieve what years of marketing might not'massive brand awareness and a surge in consumer engagement.

The allure of virality lies in its promise of instant visibility, transforming ordinary individuals and brands into internet sensations overnight. For example, a simple, innovative recipe shared by a home cook could quickly spread across various platforms, leading to countless users sharing their own versions and adaptations. This cooking trend not only racked up millions of views but also inspired a wide audience, from amateur cooks to renowned chefs and celebrities, to participate. This scenario is a classic example of virality, where an everyday piece of content becomes a widespread cultural phenomenon, re-shared and adapted, embedding itself into the digital society's fabric.

However, while the allure of going viral can be intensely captivating, it is crucial for social media users, influencers and content creators to comprehend the intricacies of intellectual property laws. This understanding is key to ensuring that their moment in the digital spotlight is not just a fleeting instance of fame, but a step towards sustainable success.

Understanding Intellectual Property Rights

A prevalent misunderstanding among social media user is that if something is online, it's free to use. However, this isn't true. Contrary to this belief, a significant portion of online content falls under the protection of intellectual property laws, and its unauthorized use can lead to infringement allegations.

In the sphere of content creation, the legal landscape is primarily sculpted by copyright law. Under the Malaysian Copyright Act 1987, copyright is defined as an exclusive right granted to the creator of a work. This right empowers creators to control the use and distribution of their creations, covering a variety of creative forms such as literary, musical, artistic works, films, sound recordings, broadcasts and derivative works. This ensures that the original creators maintain a say in how their works are utilized.

However, when a content goes viral, these rights can often be infringed upon if the content is shared or used without proper...

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