Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Facebook Group Copied My Photograph

Dear Rich: I recently uploaded a picture I designed for a Facebook group. Someone has taken this picture and used it in another group but slightly modified it. Would this be copyright infringement? Probably. Assuming your photo qualifies for copyright protection (most do) and assuming the copy doesn't qualify as a fair use (most don't), then the unauthorized taking of your photo is an infringement. What do you want to do about it? If you want it taken down,  a simple solution would be to use Facebook's DMCA Notice policy. Fill out this online form and unless the other party objects to the notice, the photo will be removed and that will be that. If the other Facebook group disagrees with you and files a counter notice, then the photo will stay up unless you file a copyright lawsuit. That's expensive, time-consuming and probably a financial loss for you, even if you win, (unless you can prove that you suffered serious financial damages). If you don't want to be confrontational, you can always try writing to the other Facebook group, explain that you have a copyright in the photo and ask them to remove the photo voluntarily.