Home » Can Memes Get Copyright Protection? | IP Conversations

Can Memes Get Copyright Protection? | IP Conversations

All of us have seen memes on the internet, and most of us have engaged with them sometimes. But can these memes have IP protection?

Read this IP Conversation to find out!

Hey IP Geek. 

I was wondering if I can get copyright protection on the memes that I make.  

Is it possible?

Memes, like any other creative work, are subject to copyright protection if they meet the requirements for copyrightability.

Copyright law protects original expressions. If  the meme is unique and original, copyright can give exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works based on it. 

Not all memes may meet the threshold of originality required for copyright protection, as some memes may rely heavily on pre-existing content or be considered too trivial or commonplace to qualify for copyright.

More importantly, memes often rely on transformative use, parody, or satire, which could potentially be considered fair use or protected under other exceptions in copyright law.

Determining whether a specific meme (or any other distinct creative work) infringes copyright or falls under fair use can be complex and depends on the specific circumstances and jurisdiction.

A meme also becomes a meme because a number of people are not just using it, but satirizing and transforming it in many ways- this makes the copyright situation a bit irrelevant. 

After all, without that popularity and without many people freely sharing and propagating the work, it cannot become a meme in the first place.

I see. So even if it can be copyrighted, it may inherently defeat the purpose of a meme. 

Thanks for letting me know about this, IP Geek. 


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