Guest Article:

** Note: I’m sharing this article from one of my Live Big Mastermind clients, Barbara Ingrassia with Manage Copyright, because it’s very timely and important for you to know when shooting family fun photos and videos this summer.

Ah Summer!  Time for picnics, reunions, family gatherings in the back yard, weddings, anniversary parties, birthday parties, travel. Time for creating special memories. Shooting pictures, videos, etc.

And we want to share those with others, don’t we? It’s so easy. There’s Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

You might be:

  • Taking a Group Photo
  • Scanning the people attending the event
  • Recording dancing at a wedding
  • Recording Uncle Charley making funny faces
  • Singing “Happy Birthday”
  • Recording remarks by the “Guests of Honor”
  • Other?

Here are some tips to keep in mind for safely sharing those special memories:

✓ Don’t share what you wouldn’t want your grandparents (or boss or future boss) to see. Once it’s out there, it’s out there.
✓ Make sure everyone is onboard with sharing on social media.
✓ Not everyone likes to be “out there.” Respect their privacy. Don’t “tag” without their OK.

(Another thing about sharing: The person who takes the photo/shoots the video owns the copyrights to those, but when you post to social media, you are granting the platform a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed). This license authorizes the platform to make your Content available to the rest of the world and to let others do the same. (You won’t be compensated.) Yup, it says that in the Terms and Conditions of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. And by using the site, you have agreed to those Terms.)

✓ Is there music playing? Even if it’s in the background and not important to the subject of the video, social media platforms have automated systems that can detect copyrighted content. Your video may be rejected or the audio suppressed. This can happen even with live video. If the automated systems don’t catch it, the copyright owner may still manually submit a DMCA take down request. The vast majority of recordings were made after 1923, so they are still protected by copyright. Bummer!
✓ BUT do go ahead and sing a boisterous and energetic “Happy Birthday To You” without fear (depending on the quality of your singing, of course. )

[On June 30, 2016, the US District Court in Central CA ruled that “Happy Birthday To You” is in the public domain (out of copyright).]

✓ What’s in the background of your shots/videos? Take a quick look for prominent copyrighted images or trademark logos, videos, movies, etc. Consider repositioning the shot if you can without losing the moment. While this might not be as much of an issue as music, IT DEPENDS. Some rights holders can be very protective.


✓ Keep it Fun and Keep it Legal!


© 2018 Barbara Ingrassia. All Rights Reserved. For info:

Barbara Ingrassia is a Certified Copyright Manager, Speaker, and Trainer. For more information about Copyright Law and You, go to or contact

Disclaimer: The information presented here is not legal advice. We provide it for informational purposes. If you need legal advice, you should contact an attorney.


Talk to you soon! ~ Katrina!

katrina sawa

Katrina Sawa

The Jumpstart Your Biz Coach, Speaker &

Author of the book, Love Yourself Successful


“Showing You HOW to Make a LOT More Money Doing What You Love!”

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