The "Share" button in Facebook (and everywhere else) is a new form of distribution.
#3354 Created 04/26/2013 Updated 04/26/2013
20120412 The "Share" button in Facebook (and everywhere else) is a new form of distribution.
Specifically, it is a form of distribution that evades copyright restrictions (but does not nullify the liability) by allowing consumers to copy and non-commercially distribute any material under the guise of "fair use."
Some Web publishers position content adjacent to share buttons, and some Web publishers allow users to submit content that can be attached to a sharing actions. The users initiates the sharing action for a piece of content, and specifies recipients from among Facebook friends, Twitter corespondents, cellular services users, and others.
When the user sends the "share", they have effectively created a distribution list for a media object, and distributed that object under their own guise.
That "sharing moment" is not theirs, alone, of course. The service from which they initiate the sharing action, the device they are using, the software (application or app) they have installed all my become part of the communication, and that communication may become the vehicle for additional commercial messages.
When the recipients of the "share" open the message, they may be exposed to commercial solicitations or other messages along with the "shared" media object. The sender of the media object has no relationship with the commercial messages, and thus can escape under the constitutionally protected "fair use" aspect of copyright law. The senders of the commercial attachments or context around the message similarly escape copyright violation, as they are not the actual 'publisher' of the information, just the channel.