How to remove infringing content from Facebook

California game lawyer looks at the procedures Facebook offers to remove copyrighted or trademarked material from its social network.






Have you seen your trademarks or copyrights being used without permission on social media?

Anyone with a valuable brand has probably noticed it. Either someone is stealing your content and posting it on Facebook as their own or putting themselves or their company on Facebook with a confusingly similar or identical brand name. Luckily for IP owners, Facebook has procedures to get this infringing content taken down.

The really good news is that it can work the way it’s supposed to (I’ve done it).

Copyright infringement:

[S]ometimes the best way to deal with infringement is to reach out first.

When a rights holder notices copyrighted content begin posted without authorization, the DMCA comes into effect. As with any other ISP, Facebook adheres to the DMCA’s safe harbor provision, including their takedown procedures. For more info on this, check out my posts on the subject.

Assuming that the rights holder has a good faith belief that they own the rights and those rights are being infringed, Facebook provides a simple form to fill out.

As I’ve stated in other posts, sometimes the best way to deal with infringement is to reach out first. Facebook even recommends this as a first step and it could lead to a peaceful resolution of the problem.

Facebook Report Copyright Trademark Infringement

Trademark infringement:

When a brand name or other symbol of valuable business goodwill is being used in an unauthorized way, Facebook offers a way to disable access to an infringing page.

The process here is very similar. In fact, the form to be filled out starts on the same page.

Facebook requires that the party reporting the infringement be the holder of the rights being infringed. This means that a third party can’t report the infringement. The information requested by Facebook in the takedown process is similar to that of a copyright takedown.

As with copyright, Facebook recommends reaching out to the infringer first. Often similarly-named infringers aren’t aware of the nuances of trademark law, and believe that they are not actually infringing. Others honestly didn’t know about your brand.

Facebook provides a lot of good general info on copyright and trademark rights, as well.

Report facebook infringement

Get some legal counsel:

IP holders shouldn’t take these actions lightly.

IP holders shouldn’t take these actions lightly. They could potentially lead to further legal action on the part of the alleged infringer, so filling out one of these online forms shouldn’t be taken lightly. Before beginning the takedown process, an attorney with experience in IP should be consulted to ensure that it is the best course of action.

I'd also like to let all the game developers reading this that my new eBook, "The 5 Legal Moves Every Game Developer Should Make" is now available and totally FREE! All you have to do is sign up for my mailing list and it should show up within the hour. It covers business formation, intellectual property, crowdfunding, contracts and more!

photo credit: Poster Boy NYC via photopin cc


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