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Reporting IP Infringement on Facebook

Updated: Jul 13, 2022


Introduction

In today’s times where everyone is a ‘content creator’ in their own way, we often find creators publishing content on similar topics on social media. While Copyright Law says that one cannot avail protection on an idea, what if someone reposts your content as it is or modifies it without your permission and claims it to be theirs? Moreover, social media is no longer restricted to creating content alone. The influencers, as they are called, are stepping into the business domain and launching their merchandise and other business ventures. Even companies have come to recognize the importance of having a social media presence. This has led to mushrooming of vital issues such as copyright and trademark infringements, passing off, etc. Recognizing these concerns, social media giants have a system in place for tackling them.


Procedure for reporting IPR Infringement on Facebook

Facebook’s Terms of Use restrict posting content that violates someone else's Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). It is usually advised that the IPRholder should contact the alleged infringer to resolve the problem before resorting to submitting a report. However, if this does not work, the social media platform has its own set of remedies and procedures.

As a content creator and rights holder on Facebook, one has various tools at their disposal to protect and manage their IPR. While Audible Magic scans videos before uploading to check for unauthorized content, Facebook’s Rights Manager System gives copyright holders options like blocking a video, claiming ad earnings and even applying attribution to a video. Further, as a registered trademark owner, one can take advantage of the Brand Rights Protection system to identify and monitor trademark violations, counterfeit products and copyright infringement in Facebook advertisements, posts, profiles and the Marketplace.


Submitting an IPR Infringement Report

Only the rights owner or their authorised representative can report IPR infringement. This can be done by:


  1. Filling a Form

The copyright owner has to submit details regarding their work through this form. Typically, Facebook requires information like complete contact details, a description of the copyrighted work that has been infringed and of the content that infringes the said copyrighted work. Trademark owners also have to fill out a form for trademark violations and reporting counterfeit products , and provide details related to the registered trademark and the content allegedly violating their right. The rights holder has to give a declaration related to good faith and further state that the information being submitted through the forms is true and accurate.

On submitting the Report, the rights holder receives an automated email that contains information about the Report, including a unique report number. Additionally, Facebook provides the rights owner's name, email address and details of the report to the person who posted the content they are reporting. This allows the alleged infringer to contact the rights holder.


2. Contacting the designated agent

Following the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Facebook has a designated agent to process incidents of copyright infringement. The most convenient way to contact the agent is by filling out this form. The Online Form consists of the same fields as those in the above-mentioned Copyright Report Form.

Alternatively, you can contact the agent via:

Direct Address- Meta Platforms, Inc. Attn: Meta Designated Agent,1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, California 94025 Phone - 650.543.4800

Email - ip@fb.com


On choosing to submit a Report directly instead of via the online form, the owner must include a complete copyright claim.


If your content was removed under the notice and counter-notice procedures of the DMCA, you have the remedy of submitting a counter-notification. However, you should do this only if your content was removed by mistake or misidentification. On receiving a counter-notification, Facebook forwards the same along with your contact details to the party that reported your content. If the reporting party does not alert Facebook that they have filed a court action seeking an order to keep the content down, the platform will restore or cease disabling the content.



Withdrawing the Report

If the parties have reached an agreement and do not wish to pursue the matter further, or if the Report was submitted by mistake, one can withdraw their Report by sending an email at ip@fb.com. It is important to mention the Report Number in the email. On receiving the email, Facebook will restore the content.


Facebook’s Repeat Infringer Policy

Did you find someone repeatedly posting your content and infringing upon your rights? Don’t worry, Facebook’s got your back! According to their Repeat Infringer Policy, in the event that someone repeatedly uploads unauthorised content, their Profile may be disabled or the Group/Page may be removed. They could potentially lose access to certain features on Facebook as well, depending on the nature of the reported content and where it is posted.


So folks, next time you see someone infringing someone else’s IPR, alert the owner! If you are the owner, you now know what to do!



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