Intellectual Property Rights for Social Media Influencers

‘Influencer marketing,’ albeit a new word, has emerged as one of the most effective strategies to create money across all industries. A Social Media Influencer is someone who creates unique material that keeps people interested on multiple social media platforms, causing them to return for more high-quality information. A common issue among digital influencers is whether the content they generate is protected by intellectual property rights.

Yes, the answer is yes! The content generated and disseminated by influencers on social media, like other works of the mind, is a production of the mind and hence falls under the scope of protection afforded by IPR in India.

Types of Intellectual Property Rights applicable to Digital Influencers


One of the most significant methods to safeguard material on social media is through copyright. The reason for this is that copyright encompasses all types of original literary, artistic, musical, theatrical, cinematographic, and other works. So, whether it’s your original reel, a musical composition, a YouTube video, a painting you shared, or a write-up you wrote as a social media influencer, everything is copyright protected. Even a tweet is protected as a literary work under copyright.

All original works are protected by copyright. Copyright is applied to fresh and unique work as soon as it is created.

However, in order to have legal proof of ownership, it is always advisable to register for copyright registration.


In today’s market, a distinct brand identity is critical in all company sectors. Influencers that make a lot of money from internet marketing must also defend their own brand identification. The easiest method to accomplish this is to register a trademark.

Trademarks encompass Instagram handles, YouTube channels, and user names on numerous social media sites.

Why should digital influencers defend their intellectual property rights?

Unlike offline business sectors, original material on the web is simply and freely accessible to anyone. For modern designers, this may be both a blessing and a curse. When your work begins “trending,” it’s tough to maintain track of how, when, and where it’s being replicated or re-published. It may appear innocuous at first, but we’re confident no one wants others to profit from their original efforts.

For example, in 2020, @karmanverdi – a Russian Musical Artist – created a novel approach to take photos in Lockdown and titled the series “There are so many ghosts at my site.” The series quickly became popular after he posted the photographs on his Instagram account. However, a similar set of images was utilized for a marketing campaign by Indian fashion moguls a few months later. When the similarities were obvious to everybody, the fashion moguls were forced to pull the campaign. But image how much money they must have made by stealing an original concept from an Independent Artist!

If the Artist had registered his work as Copyright, he would have had legal proof of ownership in this situation. Furthermore, he might sue these Moguls for unlawful use of his original work.

In this case, despite the artist’s lack of Intellectual Property Rights protection, the duplicated piece was removed. But keep in mind that this will not always be the case! As a result, registering your original work under various sorts of intellectual property rights is the best approach to safeguard it. 

Other reasons why Intellectual Property Rights are essential for your online material

There are several reasons why intellectual property (IP) may be particularly helpful in this digital age, including:

  • Avoid having your original material copied.
  • Obtain legal ownership verification.
  • Protect your work not just in your own country, but globally.
  • Make intangible assets.
  • Build your market reputation.
  • Maintain your distinct brand identity. 

Who owns the intellectual property (IP) developed for the purpose of Influencer Marketing?

Social media influencers sign contracts with businesses to promote their products by providing original content for such brands. The right to such content is generally granted through an agreement between the influencer and the brand they are promoting. The brand/business shall own all sorts of content developed for marketing unless otherwise specified in the agreement. If no such clause is included in the agreement, the original creator, i.e. the Influencer, retains ownership of their work. One of the reasons you’ll need a professional to write a service level agreement is because of this.

The Future of Digital Content Protection on social media

The debate about the impact of NFTs on the intellectual property protection of influencers and content providers has recently heated up. NFTs, or “non-fungible tokens,” are blockchain authentication certificates that apply to online physical goods like as pictures, music, movies, and graphics (as well as other digital content). Whether NFT is their unique work or they prefer to mix copyrighted material with another artist, content producers are still protected by copyright law.


The Bombay High Court noted two major difficulties in the landmark decision Marico Limited versus Abhijeet Bhansali:

The court ruled that the defendant (a video producer) cannot disclose deceptive material to degrade the plaintiff’s goods while claiming to be teaching or presenting the truth to the public. Any initiative to educate the public by presenting them with the accurate and proper information may be applauded. Such an explanation, however, should not be used to disseminate deceptive material that disparages, discredits, or belittles someone else’s goods or induces customers not to purchase the aforementioned product.

Furthermore, the defendant’s improper use of the plaintiff’s registered trademarks in a way harmful to its unique character or repute cannot be consistent with honest practices in industrial or commercial concerns.

As a result, as previously described in this article and after reviewing the preceding case law, we may conclude that the issue of intellectual property on social media is difficult, but it is best addressed by taking suitable steps toward protection. To preserve their intellectual property, creators must:

  • Understand that while evaluating a product, they have a sense of obligation to their audience. Reviews should be accurate and fact-based. False advertising should be avoided when defaming a product.
  • To protect them, find online trademark registrations, logos, slogans, tags, series names, and their distinctive hashtags.
  • Subscribe to copyright for original videos, audio recordings, pictures, writing, and artwork.
  • Avoid using brand names, logos, trademarks, and copyrighted material without first obtaining the relevant permits and licenses.
  • To prevent infringing on the rights of others, exercise caution and vigilance when registering and using a domain name.

Author:  Mrinal Kumar, a student at Amity Law School  (Jharkhand), in case of any queries please contact/write back to us via email or at IIPRD.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

twelve − 9 =


  • November 2022
  • October 2022
  • September 2022
  • August 2022
  • July 2022
  • June 2022
  • May 2022
  • April 2022
  • March 2022
  • February 2022
  • January 2022
  • December 2021
  • November 2021
  • October 2021
  • September 2021
  • August 2021
  • July 2021
  • June 2021
  • May 2021
  • April 2021
  • March 2021
  • February 2021
  • January 2021
  • December 2020
  • November 2020
  • October 2020
  • September 2020
  • August 2020
  • July 2020
  • June 2020
  • May 2020
  • April 2020
  • March 2020
  • February 2020
  • January 2020
  • December 2019
  • November 2019
  • October 2019
  • September 2019
  • August 2019
  • July 2019
  • June 2019
  • May 2019
  • April 2019
  • March 2019
  • February 2019
  • January 2019
  • December 2018
  • November 2018
  • October 2018
  • September 2018
  • August 2018
  • July 2018
  • June 2018
  • May 2018
  • April 2018
  • March 2018
  • February 2018
  • January 2018
  • December 2017
  • November 2017
  • October 2017
  • September 2017
  • August 2017
  • July 2017
  • June 2017
  • May 2017
  • April 2017
  • March 2017
  • February 2017
  • January 2017
  • December 2016
  • November 2016
  • October 2016
  • September 2016
  • August 2016
  • July 2016
  • June 2016
  • May 2016
  • April 2016
  • March 2016
  • February 2016
  • January 2016
  • December 2015
  • November 2015
  • October 2015
  • September 2015
  • August 2015
  • July 2015
  • June 2015
  • May 2015
  • April 2015
  • March 2015
  • February 2015
  • January 2015
  • December 2014
  • November 2014
  • October 2014
  • September 2014
  • August 2014
  • July 2014
  • June 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • September 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010