Nov 1, 2021

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Setting Legal & Professional Boundaries Online As An Influencer & Content Creator 


A white background with hair products, shears and a brush frame the text which reads "people use flattery to get what they want and if you're not careful you will get taken advantage of"

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the ins and outs of intellectual property rights

Oh my goodness, I’m so pumped that you’re here friend. We’ve got the second part to my chat with Crystal Casey. 

If you haven’t checked out part 1 yet, go and listen to it here! We chatted all about life and ADHD and life with ADHD. We had so much fun together I had to bring Crystal back for another episode. 

We’re getting into the nitty-gritty, so let’s dive in. 

Intellectual Property Rights

“Intellectual Property Rights”, sounds fancy right? You may have heard the term before, but like me, you went “huh?” and carried on with your life. Luckily for you and me, Crystal is super passionate about intellectual property and copyright. 

She’s been working hard on educating the Instagram world on the property rights of images. A lot of people think in order to have a copyrighted image you have to apply to have that photo copyrighted or trademarked but that’s entirely false. 

Intellectual property means that if you take a photo, if you physically press the shutter button, regardless of who is in the image, that photo is your property and you can do whatever you please with it. 

So in order for someone to share your work they have to have your permission. They have to get written consent or some kind of consent, otherwise, it’s considered theft. 

There’s a lot of people that believe “it’s on the internet, it’s fair game” and that’s not how it works at all. 

In fact, Instagram recently changed its terms of services to say that “sub-licensing” is not a thing. That means if Crystal gave me permission to post her photo onto my Instagram feed I can’t put it onto the Anxious Creative podcast page, I would need Crystal’s permission for both accounts. 

That means that all of your images, videos, reels, IGTVs, etc, are all your own property. 

So how does that work when it comes to wanting to share someone’s awesome work? Crystal breaks it all down for us. (Disclaimer: Crystal is not a lawyer, she’s just very passionate about intellectual property rights)

When it comes to sharing someone’s post via your IG stories, Instagram has made it so that share is clickable and will take you directly to the creator’s page. So when you share in stories, as long as you’re not screenshotting and you’re using the “share” button, it will redirect back to the creator. Since stories only last 24 hours this puts it into “fair use” laws. 

That makes it different from reposting someone’s pic to your own feed and tagging them in the caption and the image. It’s important to remember that credit does not equal consent. You have to have explicit permission to post someone else’s photo to your own page. 

Crystal believes that it’s misleading to post someone else’s work to your own page. We’re also at a point in time where no one reads captions anymore, so it doesn’t matter if you tag the creator for credit. 

Crystal isn’t shy to admit that when she’s asked hair stylists or pages to take down her stuff because they didn’t ask permission they’ll respond with “well I credited you” before blocking or unfollowing her. 

1000 Or Bust

The internet is an ever-changing world, there’s no denying that the Instagram we know and love now is not the same Instagram that was there in the beginning. 

Crystal was in fact part of an FB group called “1000 or Bust” where creators (who weren’t called creators back then) with less than 1000 followers would join and they would shout each other out to try to get them to over 1000 followers. This was before IG stories, before reels and IGTVs and back when you could only post 15 seconds of video to your feed. 

It wasn’t bad at the start and Crystal still has some friends from that group. This was when reposting was the currency on Instagram and they thought they were worth something. And in the beginning, they were, however, the way Instagram is now they don’t do anything to boost either account. 

Things went downhill with the 1000 or bust group when the admin started asking them for favours when she wasn’t doing them any favours in return. In fact she recently reposted one of Crystal’s pictures from Behind The Chair (BTC has permission to post the picture), Crystal messaged her and asked her to take it down as she didn’t have permission to post it and the admin responded with a sarcastic “lol didn’t seem to bother you before”. 

Crystal admits that flattery was often used to get the group to do things without the admin properly compensating them. 

I think that clients also use flattery to get their way sometimes too. “But you’re the only one who can do my hair” used to make me feel SO good and I was willing to bend over backwards for anyone who said that to me. But it always made me feel taken advantage of afterwards. 

People use flattery as a way to get what they want and if we’re not conscious enough we can so easily get taken advantage of. 

There was a time where I didn’t know I was allowed to stand up for myself. Crystal compares this to brands or businesses offering to pay content creators with “exposure”. Exposure doesn’t pay the bills. Crystal and I want both of our industries to be charging their worth. 

Crystal’s got some resources for creators who don’t know what to charge, don’t know what others were paid in the past. Because she’s tired of the narrative that content creators and influencers can’t talk about how much they make. 

F You, Pay Me is a website where influencers and content creators can talk about how much they are getting paid, from every industry and their Instagram content is all about charging your worth.

Influencer Pay Gap is a page where people write in with their questions and the whole feed is people answering in the comments. 

Crystal knows there’s a lot of businesses that don’t think they need to charge content creators and influencers, and she’s working hard to make sure every content creator knows that they can charge their worth. 

Wow. Talk about an informative episode, right? I think we’ll probably need Crystal to come back for a third episode. She’s shining a light on this and I know this is going to help those of you who are wanting to get into content creation or influencing. 

Crystal wants to remind you that you don’t have to do it exactly how she’s done it. If you’re just starting out and you are looking for exposure and you’re alright with getting credit on a share page that’s totally fine. There are many paths to the same destination.

If you want more from Crystal, go head over to her Instagram page @cryistalchaos, let her know you came from the podcast, I know she’d love to hear from you. 

Thanks for hanging with us friend, see ya next time!

Let’s be besties?

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I am just a small-town, Canadian gal from the prairies who teaches thousands of creatives around the globe how to earn 6-figures stress-free!

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“Rock Your Business” Course Creator, Host of “The Anxious Creative” Podcast. Named by Salon Magazine as Canada’s #1 women of influence.

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