Reposting Images on Social Media? How it Can Get You in Trouble

Reposting images on social media could soon get you in trouble

At a time when social media is dominating almost every area of our lives, posting pictures on social media has become a highly effective way of connecting with people, sharing with loved ones, and doing business.

It is common for social media users to share other people’s images without a second thought. You see a beautiful, thoughtful, or inspirational image that your friends would really like to see, and you post or share it without thinking much about copyright infringement.


Since most people only look at the fun side of social media, they often feel a false sense of security when posting images. After all, they are just having a good time and mean no harm. In addition, posting images is easy and fast, and there is very little time to think about the consequences.

But things are changing and what you think is harmless might get you in trouble soon. And that’s true even if you are just sharing an image posted by somebody if their post was in violation of the copyright (it’s known in intellectual property law as “republication”). To show that it is no longer business as usual, Facebook recently announced that it will be working with other partners to give picture owners more control over their images. The announcement was made as a part of an update to its right management platform. According to Facebook, working with other like-minded partners will help in giving image owners the power to decide where their work shows up across its various social sites including Instagram.

Facebook says for an image right holder to claim their copyright, they should upload a CSV file to the social platform’s Rights Manager containing the picture’s metadata. The copyright holder gets to specify when and where the copyright applies or not. Once the manager verifies the information, the image is processed and monitored wherever it is posted.

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And it is not just Facebook that is making it hard to share other people’s images. For years, copyright has been a thorny issue on Youtube, Instagram, and elsewhere. Recently, Instagram has stated that Instagram users must have the rights holder’s permission to use photographs in their posts. And Getty has been notorious for going after individuals who post images over which Getty holds copyright rights.

Now with Facebook’s and Instagram’s new, supposedly simpler rights management platform, rights holders can more easily have taken down any unpermitted use of their copyrighted image. Therefore, if you are a content creator, you might need to start creating your own images and investing in photography to avoid having your posts taken down.

Since re-posting or sharing copyrighted content is considered a form of copyright violation, infringing on the author’s rights can see you held liable for statutory and actual damages. So, before clicking to share, save, or post that picture, pause for a moment and ask yourself whether it is worth the trouble you might face. Also, it’s worth noting that there are several low cost and even free sources for images which you are allowed to use freely. Two such are stockunlimited.com and pexels.com.

 

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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Summary
Reposting Images on Social Media?  How it Can Get You in Trouble
Article Name
Reposting Images on Social Media? How it Can Get You in Trouble
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At a time when social media is dominating almost every area of our lives, posting pictures on social media has become a highly effective way of connecting with people, sharing with loved ones, and doing business.

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