Trademarks and Social Media

Trademarks and Social Media

Towards Algorithmic Justice

Danny Friedmann

Legal conflicts between trademark holders, social media providers and internet users have become manifest in light of wide scale, unauthorised use of the trademark logo on social media in recent decades. Arguing for the protection of the trademark logo against unauthorised use in a commercial environment, this book explores why protection enforcement should be made automatic. A number of issues are discussed including the scalability of litigation on a case-by-case basis, and whether safe harbour provisions for online service providers should be substituted for strict liability.

Chapter 3: Protagonists of the legal conflict

Danny Friedmann

Subjects: law - academic, information and media law, intellectual property law, internet and technology law

Abstract

Social media providers, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Pinterest, are strict when protecting and enforcing their own intellectual property rights. The contrast of their stance in regard to the infringement of intellectual property of trademark holders by internet users is salient. Social media providers invite internet users to share content, and once they do, they appropriate the intellectual property rights, irrevocably and perpetually. Anonymity, pseudonymity and privacy already seem to get weaker in society while they can, under some circumstances, be beneficial to society. Therefore this book does not advocate any real-name policy for its proposed solution, a fortiori, since real-name policies are costly and burdensome to implement and enforce. Disintermediation had led to a massive expression by internet users. The drawback is that, after the middle person is cut out of the equation, this is not necessarily conducive for the quality of the content. A side effect of the lack of monitoring, quality control and editing has led to a massive scale of online intellectual property infringements. Legal persons might not have a face of flesh and bones and sometimes they even have the same name if they are active in another product or service category. So the trademark logo can be crucial to distinguish products or companies from each other, a distinct appearance with which they can link themselves to the outside world.

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