Many photographers often post their images on Facebook to help market their work, and also to share commissioned images with their clients. And while there are many benefits to this kind of sharing, it can have a dark side: copyright infringement. Sometimes benign, sometimes ill-intentioned, sometimes by a friend, sometimes by a stranger, people take photos off of social media sites all the time, without asking permission or crediting the original creator. And it leaves many photographers incredibly frustrated and wondering if anything can be done.
Thankfully, if someone is using your image without your permission, Facebook has a way for you to report copyright infringement. This Facebook Help article answers all your questions about what to do in regards to a Copyright Infringement claim and what you need to do to file a claim.
After you have filed a claim, Facebook will send you a confirmation email stating they received your claim. They may have some follow-up questions, before taking the image down. Once the image is removed, the infringer is notified of who filed a claim and how to contact them. This is to allow channels of open communication and to provide some ability to solve the issue.
Keep in mind, this is a good start on Facebook’s part, but this is nowhere near being 100% effective. Before posting on Facebook, make sure to include your copyright information in the description and your metadata on your image. Further, make sure to watermark your photograph to ensure people know it’s protected.
Learn more about what Professional Photographers of America is doing to advocate for stronger copyright solutions for photographers and visual artists. If you’re not already a PPA member, don’t forget to join PPA to get the latest advice and news in the photography world!