Whose Content is it Anyway? A User Perspective on the Ownership and Control of Social Media
User-contributed content forms the cornerstone of many popular web services and resources including Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, iTunes, Twitter, Yelp, and even some MMRPGs. Although specific rights about the ownership and control of this content are spelled out in licensing agreements and by copyright law, most contributors and re-users ignore formal contracts, laws, and policies. In this talk, I propose to report on the results of six surveys that use a series of realistic scenarios and specific questions about recent practice to probe respondents' thoughts and behaviors about the value of user-contributed content and how user-contributed content may be reused, archived, re-purposed, and removed. The surveys solicited 988 valid responses (out of 1060 total) from a broad range of Internet-savvy (but mostly non-technical) people, and covered significant types and genres of Web content including photos, tweets, reviews, videos, podcasts, and educational recordings. This talk describes work done in collaboration with Frank Shipman at Texas A&M University.