Facebook opens up about IP infringement

Tech-watchers might have noticed that, lately, social media giant Facebook has become somewhat confessional.

Earlier this month it asked the question: is too much time spent on social media bad for us? Now, under the guise of “transparency”, it has revealed that it removed nearly three million posts during the first half of 2017 after complaints to counterfeiting and copyright and trademark infringement.

These figures haven’t been released by Facebook before and form part of Facebook’s biannual Transparency Report. They’re something of a breakthrough for those worried that their intellectual property is being compromised on the world’s largest social media network.

In a blog post, Facebook said: “We believe that sharing information about (intellectual property) reports we receive from rights holders is an important step toward being more open and clear about how we protect the people and businesses that use our services.”

For intellectual property disputes, Facebook offers monitoring tools that alert rightsholders to suspected copies of their videos and songs on Facebook and use of their brand. Rightsholders can send “takedown requests” for unauthorised uses to a panel of Facebook content analysts.

Entertainment and media industry groups have long been frustrated with the process, saying that Facebook should be more proactive about copyright or trademark infringement.

The report shows Facebook received about 377,400 complaints from January through June, with many referencing multiple posts. About 60 percent of the reports related to suspected copyright violations on Facebook.

If you feel your intellectual property might have been infringed on social media, please do get in touch.

If you need advice on Intellectual Property matters, Rothera Sharp have the team for you. Call our solicitors on 0800 088 6280 or email enquiries@rotherasharp.co.uk

Richard Hammond - Rothera Sharp Solicitors Nottingham