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Regulation of social media

This research aims to help users and social media influencers understand more about copyright and other regulations related to social media including advertising standards and terms and conditions. 

Social media influencers are a growing community and laws around social media and influencer inquiry are under review at the national and international level. This research helps to inform decision makers on the legal issues around social media and influencers, as well as informing social media users and influencers about their rights and the regulation effecting their use of social media.

Read here the written evidence submitted for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Influencer Inquiry


  • Bosher, H. (2021) 'Legal Issues of Social Media and Influencer Marketing', in Costello, J. and Yesiloglu, S. (eds.) Influencer Marketing: Concepts and Cases for Building Brand Communities and Engagement. Routledge.
  • Bosher, H. (2020) 'Key Issues Around Copyright and Social Media: Ownership, Infringement and Liability'. Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice, 15 (2). pp. 123 - 133. ISSN: 1747-1532
  • Bosher, H. and Yesiloglu, S. (2018) 'An analysis of the fundamental tensions between copyright and social media: The legal implications of sharing images on Instagram'. International Review of Law, Computers and Technology, 33 (2). pp. 164 - 186. ISSN: 1364-6885
  •  Ten things you should know about Instagram’s terms of use, The Conversation
  • Instagram influencers: no, having 30,000 followers does not make you a celebrity, The Conversation 


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Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Hayleigh Bosher
Dr Hayleigh Bosher - Hayleigh is a Reader in Intellectual Property Law and Associate Dean (Professional Development and Graduate Outcomes) at Brunel University London, as well as, Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Intellectual Property, Policy and Management, a legal consultant in the creative industries, an advisor for the independent UK charity for professional musicians, Help Musicians, writer and Book Review Editor for the specialist IP blog IPKat. Hayleigh is well-recognised in the field of intellectual property law, in particular copyright law and the creative industries, and has attained an international reputation in the field of music copyright in particular. Her work in this area has been cited extensively in academic, practitioner and policy outputs and she is regularly interviewed by numerous national and international media outlets, including the BBC, ITV, Sky News, Channel 5 News and The Guardian, The Times and The Wall Street Journal. Hayleigh researches in the area of copyright and related laws in the creative industries, particularly in context of music, social media, and artificial intelligence and related technologies. Her research always involves public, policy and industry engagement, with an emphasis on helping creators understand their rights whilst at the same time ensuring that those rights are fairly balanced and adequately supported by law. As such, she is widely published in academic peer-reviewed journals, in the press, and has responded to a number of policy inquiries at international and national level. Her recent book; Copyright in the Music Industry, is accompanied with a playlist and podcast which she produces and co-hosts with Jules O'Riordan (AKA Judge Jules). She appeared before the DCMS Select Committee in relation to their Inquiry on the Economics of Music Streaming, the Science, Innovation and Technology Select Committee for their Inquiry on the Governance of Artificial Intelligence and the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee on Large Language Models. Hayleigh is a member of the UK Intellectual Property Office Research Experts Advisory Group, the Centre for Artificial Intelligence: Social and Digital Innovation, and the Research Centre for Law, Economics and Finance at Brunel. Hayleigh joined Brunel in 2018, having previously held positions at Coventry University, The University of the Arts London and the Academy of Digital Entertainment, Breda University (Netherlands). 

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 14/11/2023