The Media Blog: @FoluShaw is warning Linda not to publish his tweets – but that’s not the law is it?

So @FoluShaw got a lot of RTs for this thread. Pretty remarkable tale to be sure. Someone wonders if his job isn’t at risk for it, and we say bleh – he appears to be a very smart person, must know the risks.

But then at the end of thread, there is a threat to Linda Ikeji (and ultimately, bloggers), not to use his thread – as it is copyrighted.


Someone needs to make clear to people who share content on public, free platforms though, that simply saying ‘don’t use this’ doesn’t make a thing ‘copyrighted’.

Too many people too often mount a righteous pulpit, attacking bloggers for using their content without permission – when they clearly haven’t done their homework first.

Maybe they will mount a public campaign that will change the laws. But no present laws known to Nigerian jurisprudence or legal frameworks protect tweets and social media updates under any copyright arrangements – and for that matter, as Donald Trump has discovered, under America’s extensive intellectual property laws. They are essentially free to be quoted, to be shared, to be used, to be distributed.

The rule is simple really: If you don’t want people to talk about something, it’s either you formally protect it under copyright laws somehow (trademark your numbered tweets?), or you just don’t say it on a public, free platform which terms and conditions you didn’t really read.

Go ahead, put it on your blog, where it will conceivably be taken as original creative work.

But don’t go and put it in a place where it’s fair game, and then start issuing warnings to Linda Ikeji, when she is completely in order. As are media houses across much of the free world.

Copyright doesn’t appear just because we wish it so.


PS: See anything worth talking about on the ins and outs of the media business in Nigeria on TV, radio, print and online (could be news, tweets, photos, op-eds etc) send us a mail on [email protected] titled TMB. Let’s share the insight together!

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