Social Media

Facebook’s new tool allows creators to protect their photos, even embedded ones

Facebook - Appy Pie

Facebook announced that it is hosting a new tool called Rights Manager for Images that will allow users who are rights holders to protect and manage their photos across Facebook and Instagram.

The newly launched Rights Manager will allow creators and publishers access to content-matching technology which is similar to something that Facebook launched in 2016 to keep a check and stop stolen videos.

The feature will also allow rights owners to assert control over their intellectual property across Facebook and Instagram, including when the image is embedded on an external website. The new feature is available in Facebook’s Creator Studio.

The new feature has been designed for those users who maintain a large catalog of images or who post new content on a regular basis. For individuals who only rarely come across issues related to misuse of their images, Facebook offers an IP reporting form instead, which even allows users to report more than one piece of matching content at a time.

Till date photographers had inadequate and limited means of protecting their content across Facebook and its other platforms. The users were only allowed to take actions like enabling or disabling embedding entirely. They could make their account private to make sure that their content wasn’t used and distributed without their permission. However, these solutions were not apt for a photographer trying to gain exposure and grow his career.

If the user is using the Rights Manager he doesn’t need to publicly post their images on Facebook or Instagram for this process to work.

A Facebook spokesperson informed, “The Rights Manager for Images will now allow them a third option because it’s able to find and match photos that were used as embeds. At that time, the creator might choose to monitor, watch, block, or permit the image at their discretion.”

However, with Facebook’s Rights Manager for video content, creators who want to have control over their images will have to provide Facebook with a copy of the images or videos they would like to protect, as well as a CSV file with the metadata. After this these images or videos will be uploaded to a reference library. The Rights Manager will use this reference library to locate matches across Facebook and Instagram.

When matching content is found on a Page or a Profile, the rights holder can choose whether to simply monitor the content, block its use or put a takedown request or give a credit to themselves using an ownership link. Creators have an option to choose if they want their ownership to apply worldwide or only in certain geographic areas.

It was believed that embedding an Instagram post was perfectly legal. But when Newsweek was asked to submit a photographer’s image and they refused, the post presented it as an embedding, which then opened them up to a copyright lawsuit.

The question, who has the rights to use a photo that’s been posted on Facebook and Instagram, has become a controversial issue recently. Hope the newly launched Rights Manager is the right answer to it.