Can any­one use my Face­book pho­tos with­out per­mis­sion?

Computer Active (UK) - - Consumeractive -

Q I take pho­tos and post them on my Face­book page. Re­cently, I’ve had trou­ble with peo­ple us­ing them with­out my per­mis­sion. So I told each of them that pro­vided they sent me a cheque for £7.50, which I’d do­nate to Di­a­betes UK, they could con­tinue to use them. How­ever, one guy said he was en­ti­tled to use the pho­tos be­cause I’d posted them on­line, and then his friend sent a Face­book mes­sage threat­en­ing to “sort me out”. What are my rights?

Edgar Mills

A

These pho­tos are Edgar’s in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty. He owns the copy­right, so no­body can use them with­out his per­mis­sion. It doesn’t make a jot of dif­fer­ence that he’s posted them to Face­book, or any­where else on­line. While Face­book’s terms and con­di­tions do give it a (broad) li­cence to use your work, it can’t grant this to oth­ers.

If you find your­self in a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion you should first con­tact the per­son us­ing your pho­tos. In many cases they won’t re­alise they have done wrong, and will re­move the pho­tos. If they won’t, then re­port the mat­ter to Face­book – you’ll find de­tails at www. snipca.com/24501 (look un­der the ‘Re­port­ing Copy­right In­fringe­ment on Face­book’ sec­tion). One way to pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing in the first place is to tweak the pri­vacy set­tings for your photo al­bums (Face­book ex­plains how at www.snipca.com/24531).

As for the threats, Edgar has de­cided not to pur­sue the mat­ter. Mak­ing threats on­line can be a crim­i­nal of­fence – ‘ha­rass­ment’ or ‘ma­li­cious com­mu­ni­ca­tions’, as ex­plained by the po­lice at www.snipca.com/24502 - so we’ve ad­vised Edgar to save any he re­ceives and re­port them to Face­book (via www. snipca.com/24503) and his lo­cal po­lice force.

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