I just finished reading this very interesting article on The Register regarding new legislation in the UK referring to images shared on social Internet sites.

It appears as though any images you share on social sites, like Flickr, Facebook and Instagram, are no longer protected from exploitation by anyone viewing your content.

The article explains:

"The Act contains changes to UK copyright law which permit the commercial exploitation of images where information identifying the owner is missing, so-called "orphan works", by placing the work into what's known as "extended collective licensing" schemes. Since most digital images on the internet today are orphans - the metadata is missing or has been stripped by a large organisation - millions of photographs and illustrations are swept into such schemes."

I don't use Flickr or Facebook, so I'm not sure how they handle images - if they do, in fact, strip meta data when you perform your uploads. Thankfully, ipernity keeps meta data in tact, so I'm not sure how this legislation affects content stored in ipernity accounts.

But, what ever the case, with this new legislation in place in the UK, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before other countries follow suite.

So, now's a good time to consider how you're sharing your content - especially on social sites like Flickr and Facebook. If you're concerned at all, then having content restricted to friends or family, like you can do on ipernity, is at least a first step to protecting yourself.