Is Facebook the New Breeding Ground for Copyright Infringement?
Copyright Infringement and Facebook seem to be going hand in hand lately on the internet. In the last few days I have seen several stories about Facebook users posting professional shots without giving the photographer proper credit. Russell Ord, a talented ocean and surf photographer had a run-in recently with a Facebook page and had a few choice words.
Just one look at Russell’s portfolio and you can quickly see that this photographer was made for the deep blue ocean. His surf photography is stunning to say the least and enjoyed by many people, including one particular Facebook page: World Wide Wave. The only problem was that World Wide Wave wasn’t giving proper credit to any of the photos that they were posting. This made Russell and a few other photographers that visit the page understandably upset.
Russell sat down with Swellnet.com and recalled his initial reaction to his photos being used without his permission. Obviously he wasn’t too pleased with his photos being used, but after several attempts to reach out to the page and asking for proper credit he was actually banned from the page. How’s that for a nice slap on the face? Apparently the Facebook page WWW was administered by several people, most of whom have been removed since this debacle.
Russell explains that giving proper credit is extremely easy on Facebook. All pages need to do is simply share the photo from the original source and the crediting is automatic. After a few days the page has admitted their mistake, and has started to share the photos or at least give proper credit to photographers.
World Wide Wave isn’t the only recent photo thieves. If you have been anywhere around the internet recently then you have probably heard by now about the massive meltdown by Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro after a rather exposing episode of Kitchen Nightmares. What does this have to do with Facebook? After being hounded down on Yelp and Reddit, angry food lovers started pouring negative comments on their Facebook page which, yes you guessed it, has copyright infringed images overflowing in their photostream. If you quickly go through the albums you can quickly see Facebook users crying foul at the business for using stolen images.
Copyright Infringement on social networking sites like Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest seems to be a common practice for its users. Question is, how do we as photographers, especially those who make a living solely on photography, protect our images? Are larger watermarks, copyright statements or simply stop publishing on social media answers?
What are your thoughts on copyright infringement on social media, and have you seen any other Facebook pages using non-credited images?