I Can Haz Copyright Infringement? Internet Memes and Intellectual Property Risks

From the Experts

, Corporate Counsel


Given the vast popularity of some Internet memes, it is not surprising that corporate marketers want to harness this popularity to promote commercial interests. But online memes pose a number of intellectual property-related questions for companies.

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What's being said

  • Will King

    Fantastic article. Earlier this year one of my photos became a meme and ended up being viewed by millions of people in a matter of days. Recently, a company paid for an ad on Facebook that was using my photo as the main image.

    I got to have a nice talk with their CFO explaining to him copyright law and how their usage of my photo was nowhere near fair use. They even credited some other website for the photo. After I sent him a copy of my copyright registration certificate he got the ad pulled and agreed to pay for the photo's usage. Would have definitely loved to include a link to this article in addition to the invoice I sent him.

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