It’s been said many times that the law is struggling to keep up with the internet. With video streaming and social media becoming easier to access, legal issues have predictably popped up, leading to countless news stories about modern law adapting to online platforms. Let’s take a quick look at the relationship (and sometimes battle) between the internet and the law.

Social Media

Copyright is a very popular topic when it comes to social media law, especially when it comes to more image-heavy websites. Because it’s so easy to repost a photographer’s work (often without credit or compensation) on platforms such as Instagram, there have been numerous copyright-related cases of note, such as supermodel Gigi Hadid’s legal battle against a paparazzi photographer. Most recently, a court ruled that a popular website can embed a photographer’s Instagram post without violating copyright laws.

Interestingly, copyright isn’t the only legal issue in social media. In fact, one particularly interesting case outlined the complicated case of social media posting and First Amendment rights. While it was ruled in one case that social media had free speech protections, there are still complications, such as what one can post while on probation.


While YouTube’s controversies have largely revolved around advertising and monetization as of late, legal topics around the platform have touched on some interesting topics. Much like the case with social media websites, YouTube has consistently had to keep up with copyrights. After all, it’s not uncommon to search around YouTube and see entire episodes of different series uploaded, as well as the occasional feature film.

One especially prominent issue YouTube has had to deal with is fair use. Because much of the content on the platform is focused on remixing videos and commenting on other forms of media, the legal doctrine of fair use has become necessary knowledge for creators on the platform. The website has even attempted to educate users on the basics of fair use, including some of its major myths.

Featured image courtesy of Pixabay