Social media law comprises of several different components including free speech, privacy, online advertisement, and intellectual property rights. These issues come up regularly during the course of online transactions between parties. The courts have been inundated with social media litigation and have issued their rulings when faced with complicated problems.
The cases that arise on social media platforms involve state and federal laws such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and Communications Decency Act. In essence, these federal statutes were promulgated to protect copyrights and free speech rights.
According to the United States Copyright Office, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), which amended federal copyright laws, was passed to address important parts of the relationship between copyright and the internet. The three main updates were: (1) establishing protections for online service providers in certain situations if their users engage in copyright infringement, including by creating the notice-and-takedown system, which allows copyright owners to inform online service providers about infringing material so it can be taken down; (2) encouraging copyright owners to give greater access to their works in digital formats by providing them with legal protections against unauthorized access to their works (for example, hacking passwords or circumventing encryption); and (3) making it unlawful to provide false copyright management information (e.g., names of authors and copyright owners, titles of works) or to remove or alter that type of information in certain circumstances.