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juxtaposing copyright protection & creative freedom on social media: the need for a paradigm shift

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Content sharing on social media is perhaps the most modern variation of creative expression and freedom. However, the content shared on social media platforms is more often than not works in which copyright subsists. For instance, on Instagram, the pictures and videos recorded and shared enjoy copyright protection. The same applies to Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and many other social media sites.

With the privilege creative freedom, and expression, comes the need to ensure copyright protection in the digital space. The advent of social media has created the new 21st-century cultural norm of ‘sharing’; wherein, people share details about their personal lives, work, opinions and thoughts with others.

Unfortunately, it appears that the extant legal regime on copyright has a hard  time catching up to the new cultural norm of sharing as it tends more to the exclusivity of copyrights. Perhaps a paradigm shift that allows for shorter copyright duration is necessary to incentivize more creative effort. Exclusivity of copyright must be such that it pertains to the economic interests in works. Thus, sharing culture on social media should not be interfered with except it deprives the owner of copyright in a work of economic benefits. This is a way of ensuring cultural progression vis a vis protecting the economic interests of authors.

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