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Copyrights & Trademarks: What Black Beauty and Fashion Content Creators Should Know
Let’s be honest: when it comes to innovation, everyone can learn a thing or two from us. Whether it’s the current TikTok dancing craze or virtual fashion shows that completely transform the way fashion is presented (hey, Hanifa!), Black creatives are the pioneers and trend-setters who bring art to the globe.
With this knowledge, it is critical to acknowledge that others will copy our work—sometimes without our authorization. Addison Rae, a TikTok star with over 87 million followers, faced backlash after appearing onThe Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and demonstrating all of the latest TikTok dances without crediting the creators.
In June 2021, in response to Addison Rae’s appearance, Black TikTok creators went on strike, refusing to create any more choreography until they were properly credited for their ingenuity and acknowledgment that the platform relies on their invention. While this isn’t the first (or even the last) time that Black beauty and fashion creators have been denied credit for their work, it’s vital to remember that you have rights and the capacity to safeguard your work.
“Most often, the issue with social media content creators is that the author isn’t given proper attribution, which detracts from their visibility as the creator,” says Lisa Bonner, Esq., veteran entertainment and intellectual property attorney and author ofThe LegaliTEAS of Entrepreneurship: The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence and Balance in Starting Your Own Business. “Creatives often miss out on ancillary opportunities that come from creating such a viral sensation.”