Who Owns the Content in Social Media?

With Tweets, status updates, pictures and blog posts being pumped out at a feverish pace, there's no sense on who "owns" the content. While I have a blog and the words on the screen were written by me, do I really "own" those pages despite living on someone elses server? 

How about photos and videos? Guessing the same principle is in play here as well. 

However, what if you're a celebrity and taking pictures of private moments you want to share with your fan base? Can I, as a Twitter user, take that photo and leverage it for an ad, blog post or other creative items? I guess I can, but can I legally use those images? Probably not. 

In order to thwart such efforts, a little start-up is working with a big list of celebs to help them own their social media content, specifically photos and videos.

The company is called WhoSay and according to a New York Times feature, has about 15 people on staff, with offices in New York and London in addition to one in Los Angeles.

According to the Times, the company’s client list, by invitation only, includes Kevin SpaceyJim CarreyJohn CusackBill Maher, Johnny Knoxville, Chelsea HandlerEva LongoriaSpike Lee, Enrique Iglesias, Katie Couric and more. In addition to photo and video hosting, the company’s services include automated copyright branding and a private mobile app that loops in publicists, allowing the celebrities’ Facebook and Twitter updates to be easily controlled by a staff.

The concept is brilliant and could have implications for social media content for brands (and consumers) at some point down the road. After all, the game is all about proper credit and traffic, both of which drive brand awareness.