Is it Illegal to Use Someone Else's Email Address Without Permission?

Want to know how to legally share content on social media? I worked for a company years ago, they got sued for $5,000 because they used a photo of a hamburger that they didn't own. This was not a special celebrity hamburger, just a regular old hamburger. I don't want you to fall into that situation, so I'll run down what you can and can't do, right now. 

Hello busy people, welcome to my website.  If you've struggled with your social media marketing, feeling like you're putting out all this effort and getting nothing in return, or only a few likes but no revenue, you're in a great place. Every week, we help you with a different piece of your social media marketing strategy, you're gonna know how to legally share and how to illegally share content on social media. Of course, that's so that you can do it legally, not illegally. 

Is it illegal to post pictures of someone else?

I wanted to make this video because a lot of people have been saying things to me lately like, "Well as long as you give them credit, "it's okay to share their content," and that is not true. You can get sued for that, so don't do that. Now that being said, I am not a lawyer, feel free to seek your own counselbut once I run through what I show you today, I think you will agree that most of this is just common sense and should keep you out of trouble, no problem. 

Give Them Credit or Link Back to The Original Source

First the basics. If you upload a photo, video, audio clip, anything that you don't own the rights to, to one of your social media channels, you are breaking the law. If you download anything or save anything from anywhere else and then upload it to your channel, you are stealing. Doesn't matter if you give them credit or link back to the original source, that is always illegal. 

All right, let's get into some specifics starting here with Facebook. So anytime you use the built-in share function you are totally fine 'cause you're taking something hat's already there on Facebook, or any of the platforms, and you're sharing it to your profile, your group, in a message, whatever it might be, but you're still retaining the original person's content. 

But if I were to go and take a screenshot of this picture and then upload it to my profile because I wanted to use a picture of Taylor Swift and with some comment, then I'm stealing, I don't own this picture. Again, even if I give them credit or if I link back to the original source. By the way, I'm using this celebrity article and photo as an example, 'cause that's what people get in trouble for a lot, it's not always just hamburgers. So let's say I wanted to share this link here. Links are a little different. 

Now I could just use the share function and it would share the link to my profile or to my group, wherever I wanted, but let's say I opened this link, and then I went up here, and I copied it and I pasted it into a post, it's gonna go ahead and pull up that same preview, the picture or the headline, this is fine. Because, again, the content still is all on E! online's website, I'm not taking anything here. 

Then I can add my own caption here and say whatever I wanna say, totally fine. But, again, if I go to this site, and I went, and I tried to save this image to my computer and then upload it back to some profile of mine, then I'm definitely stealing. So the key takeaway here, if the content is on someone else's page, website, whatever, and you're just sharing a link or using the share button rather than uploading it to your Facebook page or profile, you're fine. 
Same thing applies for LinkedIn, as long as I'm using the share button down here, totally fine. If you use Twitter, you know that on Twitter, sharing is called Retweeting, and so you can go through and you can click the Retweet button and Retweet somebody, totally fine. Retweet, add a comment, you're fine. If you go and have you're own post and you paste to LinkedIn, that's totally fine 'cause you're linking somewhere else. 

But if I come down here, and I decide to save this picture to my computer and then upload it to my post, again, breaking the law. But you see how this all works? Now I wanna take a look at Instagram because this is where most people are accidentally breaking the law. Just like the other platforms, if you upload someone else's photo or video, that's illegal, but if you use the share function, that's fine. So in the feed, it's this little paper airplane, I can tap that and then I can add a post, if the provider lets me, to my story, or I can DM it to somebody, direct message it to somebody. 

Is it illegal to post someone's personal information online? - If somebody tags you in their Instagram story, you can then share that to your own story, but I can't take a screen shot of someone else's Instagram story, save it to my camera roll, like a quote or something, and then share it to my story. At that point, I'm stealing. The biggest place people get stuck though, on Instagram, is using repost apps. 

Even though there's an app that does it, and gives them credit and tags them in the post, you are still stealing their content and breaking the law. The good news is, if you do wanna share someone else's content, all you have to do, is ask them for permission. You can go through and you can ask somebody down in the comments, if you wanna do it there, or go to their profile and send them a DM. 
If you wanna be thorough, take a screen shot of them giving you permission and then save it somewhere, just so you're covered, if it ever comes up. All right, last thing. You've probably seen companies say, "Use our hashtag "and we might feature you on our feed." Even if someone uses your brand's hashtag, you still have to get permission to use that content. Again, all it requires is a quick comment to ask them permission or send them a direct message. 

They say yes, and you're all set. I hope that clears some things up for you and remember, if you take somebody else's content and they come after you, they're probably not gonna just ask you to take it down, they will sue you, so just don't steal content. If coming up with content is a struggle, I would love to offer you my 24 proven content ideas for small businesses. You're not only supporting me but also my two tiny superheros at home.

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