Category Archives: Information

Facebook Representative States They Own Uploaded Content

As photographers, we’ve all seen posts online with people wringing their hands worrying about Facebook’s newest Terms of Use saying we’re now going to lose copyrights to our works of art once we upload them to Facebook.  It’s always turned out to be a hoax. Turns out, it wasn’t a hoax – at least according to the email I just received directly from Facebook.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been dealing with an ongoing issue with posts to the Photo Stealers Facebook Page which I’ve documented a few times here.  The tl;dr version is that no matter what I post to the Photo Stealers Facebook Page, it gets deleted and I get banned (currently sitting on a 30 day ban for posting that I had brought the Photo Stealers page back).  I finally got in contact with someone at Facebook directly and she’s been looking into the issue for me over the past two weeks.  I finally received a reply today and my jaw has not left the floor since.

Facebook stating anything posted to it is Facebook's property

While most of the email is not really relevant to anyone but me there is one bit that affects EVERYONE that uses Facebook.

“…once something is posted or uploaded onto Facebook it becomes Facebook’s property. So if the original photographer uploaded the photo first onto Facebook and then others have taken it from there and uploaded it to their pages or profiles, this is legal and within policy, there’s nothing I can do about it unfortunately even if they are taking credit for the photos.”

I replied with “So, you are saying that any image I upload to Facebook is now Facebook’s property and anyone can steal it and so long as they are using Facebook they can do whatever they want with my copyrighted works?”

Mandy replied with the below email with a link to the Facebook policies and highlighted sections she believes were supporting her email but, in my opinion, these highlighted passages contradict her earlier statement that anything posted to Facebook is Facebook’s property.

Facebook copyright email

This isn’t someone who misread the newest TOS, this isn’t a lawyer digging in too deep.  This is a message, directly from Facebook stating that they own property once it’s uploaded to Facebook.  She goes on to say that anyone can do anything with this content and it is legal and within policy.  She also states in her emails she’s been in talks with a supervisor and the help center so this isn’t just from her.  Even if she and her supervisors are misinformed this is a HUGE problem if employees at Facebook not only think they own uploaded property but enforce this policy.

I’m not one to be a “Chicken Little” when it comes to things but this is NOT good for photograhers or the creative industry as a whole.

Update 05/12/15 @ 8:00PM

Facebook has responded on the Photo Stealers Facebook Page.

Matt here from Facebook. Sorry for the inconvenience you’ve had. First, we restored the content that was removed from your page in error.

In addition, as you originally suspected, the information given in these emails is incorrect. Our terms are clear that you own the content you share on Facebook, including photos. When you post something, you simply grant Facebook a license to use that content consistent with our terms, including displaying it to the audience you’ve shared it with.

We also prohibit people from posting content that violates someone else’s intellectual property rights. If a rights owner believes that content on Facebook violates their rights, they may report it to us. You can find more information about this topic here: https://www.facebook.com/help/249141925204375

I’ve also been told that I can start posting to the Facebook Page again for Photo Stealers and my personal account has been restored.  Matt stated in the post that he will look into any bans resulting from posts about Photo Stealers.

While this doesn’t give me many answers regarding everything I’ve been going through, I’m glad to hear that my hunch was right and the Facebook Employee (and her supervisors as well as the Help Center) were misinformed regarding Facebook’s policies on copyrighted works uploaded to their website.

Thank you Facebook!

Why I Shut Down the Facebook Fan Page

Tears.

This is the first time in three years that running this blog has brought me to actual tears.

Negative reviews, name calling, mocking my physique, “reviewing” my photography skills or lack of  – this is just a tip of the iceberg of what I’ve endured since I listed SJK Photography on this website.   None of this has brought me even a misty eye but tonight for the first time, I’m in tears.

I realize it’s likely because I’m exhausted… and a girl.

However, I’ve had enough.

Continue reading “Why I Shut Down the Facebook Fan Page” »

Facebook Removed the Official Photo Stealers FB Page

You may have noticed that something is missing today.  If you haven’t noticed, that would be the Facebook Page for Photo Stealers.

::moment of silence::

On Monday I received two notifications that two posts were removed from the page due to violating community standards.

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Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 11.14.22 AM

 

Oddly, the “New Listing” linking to SJK Photography in Delray Beach‘s post wasn’t removed despite what the notification said.  When I got the notification shortly after the first about the share of the Peta Pixel article link being removed, I was temporarily banned from Facebook.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 11.15.35 AM

I used my time effectively, creating a timeline, complete with screen captures, to add to the SJK Photography post.  That is at the bottom of the page.

Yesterday I was out of the office most of the day and didn’t touch the PS page at all except to let people know I was back.

Today I woke up to find that Facebook had decided to unpublished the Photo Stealers Facebook Page because of bullying.

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 8.19.47 AM

I moderate but so be it, it’s gone (for now).  I did hit the “appeal” button but that’s literally all it is, a button. I created a new Facebook Page in the meantime.  It will either be our forever home or just a temporary shelter but either way – I will continue on.  This is merely a bump in the road. Thanks to all for the support!!!

What to Do If Your Images Have Been Stolen

You have found that your images have been stolen… now what?  You have a few different options on what you can do besides only reporting the theft to Photo Stealers.

1.  Send a Cease & Desist letter.  This is an email (you can find various form letters via Google) where you are requesting removal of your intellectual works from the website within a set amount of days before you pursue legal action.  This is not a requirement.  If you choose, you can skip to any of the following steps.

2.  File a DMCA. Often the stealer refuses to remove the copyrighted works so you need to move on to reporting the image as your intellectual property to the online host of the image – be it a website, Facebook etc.  To file a DMCA for a website, use Who is Hosting This to find the website host.  Here is a great walkthrough from the Photo Attorney.  If you need help with this, please feel free to contact me.  Facebook makes it pretty easy to file a DMCA – use the report feature and follow the links until you get an option to flag the image as your intellectual property.  Most other social media sites have a similar report feature.

3.  Send an Invoice.  Send the photographer/business an invoice outlining your cost for the use of the image for the length of time and purpose they used it for.  I highly recommend this method if you have had images stolen by a business but many have had luck with this method with photographers as well.

4.  File a lawsuit.  If you have had enough or have had no luck with the above steps, call a lawyer and file a lawsuit.  Note that you can sue even if the image was taken down when you requested.  You get more damages if your watermark was removed and/or if you have registered the image so make sure you are doing both!

 

How To Find Out if Images Have Been Stolen

Are you curious if your images and/or written works have been stolen?  Here are some sources to use online to track your intellectual works.   If you want to narrow down the selection, I suggest starting with the images most pinned on Pinterest that you’ve taken and going from there as that’s one of the most typical sources for stolen images.

1.  Google Reverse Image Search.  This is my default go-to for looking out sources of images.  You click on the camera icon in the search bar and upload the image.  Google then brings up the sources for the image that you searched for.

2.  TinEye.  This works in a similar way as Google Reverse Image Search and the results are usually the same but not always.

3.  Copyscape.  This works in the same way as the above but for written words instead of pictures.