There are few things I hate more than Insagram bunnies.

In Huntsville I had to deal with NASA bunnies.

They have some version of “I fucking love space/science/STEM” captioned while they get the T&A on display in front of a Mercury capsule or Atlas engine.

I was ready recently about a tool bunny who poses with tools at job sites like she actually framed that wall.

It finally dawned on me why.

Exactly what about it pisses me off so much.

It’s a form of intellectual property theft.

That bunny might get half a million views.  She might get paid for those views and get sponsorships or ad revenue.

But what about the man who got $20/hr to frame that wall that she’s used as her background?

What does he get?

She used his labor to set up her photo shoot.

If I make something and someone comes along and uses it for a viral post, I want to get paid for that.

It’s the principle that those of us behind the scenes who make everything the influencer uses don’t get royalties for our labor that bothers me.

I want intellectual property law to assert that social media backgrounds belong to the creator of the background and are owed value.

If I create something and you pose on it and it goes viral, I want half of your ad revenue.

I believe I’m entitled to that.

If an influencer doesn’t want to give that up, then he/she can frame their own walls, build their own rockets, or pose in a blank white space.


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By J. Kb

9 thoughts on “I’ve been thinking about intellectual property and social media”
  1. Ah … In the case of the framed wall, would the ip belong to the person who framed the wall, or the person who paid the bill for it to be built?

    Having to document issues like this in legal agreements would make even simple handyman jobs a nightmare. For everyone but the lawyers writing the agreements, of course.

    I get what you’re saying, I do, but how about this as a way to keep it simple: you film or photo on a person’s property, they get a slice of any profit you make off the image. So the average tourist isn’t affected.

    1. Royalties are supposed to be paid if you use anyone’s property in an image. And thise royalties can be a nice chunk of change.

      It’s the fakeness that gets me. You know those influencers didn’t do jack in the building of that wall, or whatever they’re insinuating they did.

    2. But simple tourists are not making money.

      This is about the influencer who uses backdrops other people create to make money.

      Its not unlike using someone else’s music in your video.

      1. Well, yes, that’s what I was getting at. Establish a framework so you don’t need to do a series of 1:1 contracts anytime anyone anywhere wants to take a photo.

        If the person isn’t going to make any money from it, like a tourist, then, nothing more need be done.

  2. Welcome to the new amerka….YOU bust your ass and some bimbo “influencer” profits from your work.
    All of this tiktok and twitter and instagram is nauseous

  3. Simple Solution.

    Everyone watermarks their work just like everyone watermarks their photos. No one on social media ever steals watermarked photos.


  4. Actual legit question and forgive my naivete; do people make money off of Instagram? If so, why? (I also noticed your Starbucks fancy order post and I’m wondering why people hit Starbucks when you can dose up your coffee hella cheaper at 7 -11 and get Oreos also).

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