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This article is written by Ayush Agarwal, a student of UPES Dehradun.

Have you ever seen any of the related post ever when you are browsing Facebook:

“In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, writings, and expressions of all kinds, as my sole and exclusive intellectual property, as defined in the Berne Convention, and by US law, custom, and practice.. For commercial use of the above, my written consent is needed at all times and for all reasons, without exceptions.

(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws.)

By this publishing, and henceforth forever, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute), and such other national and international laws and treaties as may apply, and by tort and common law.”

Introduction

Interestingly posting of such posts on Facebook is meaningless and does not have any legal basis as the terms of browsing and accessing  Facebook is guided by the terms and policies of Facebook.

Facebook so called as social networking site has turned into a platform where you promote, share and create a virtual market for yourself. Every image and video that a person uploads can be shared and can be downloaded based on your accounts privacy settings on Facebook. You are open to the world at large on social networking site, people promote themselves by creating a page, where they upload, share, write and open world to read the content. What is if the images you are uploading are getting downloaded and shared and again uploaded with different signs? What is if the video you are uploading getting misused by someone else and the person is using your sign form their promotion? What is if the content uploaded is being copied or the same content is being used by some other person to gain profit?

Ownership of IPs

Let’s look into the terms and conditions of the Facebook which is specifically related to Intellectual Property Right.

If you look into the statement of Rights and Responsibilities, which is the principal act of the terms and conditions of the Facebook, helps us to understand the ownership of the content of that you upload on Facebook.

Facebook does not take the ownership of the content and information you post of Facebook, Facebook says that the person who is uploading the content and information on Facebook is the rightful owner of the content and information and can control how it is being shared through privacy and application settings on Facebook. The condition is:

  1. Subject to your own privacy and application settings, you grant Facebook (a) non-exclusive, (b) transferable, (c) sub-licensable, (d) royalty-free, (e) worldwide license to use any content that is covered by Intellectual Property rights that you post in connection with Facebook. This IP license ends when you delete the content or the account unless the content has been shared with others and they have not deleted it.

Copyright infringement

Copyright helps you protect your original work of authorship for example books, music, film, art. Copyright protects original expressions such as word or say images but provides no protection over facts and ideas, although it may also protect the original words or images used to describe an idea.

Reporting Copyright Infringements

Facebook believes that before complaining and filling out the form you may contact the person who has made the infringement.

A person having a Facebook account or a person having no Facebook account can also file copyright infringement. If you believe that someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, then ( https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/208282075858952 ) follow this link and fill out the form.

You can also contact designated agent if you are not able to solve the dispute by following the link.

Facebook, Inc. Attn:

Facebook Designated Agent 1601

Willow Road Menlo Park,

California 94025650.543.4800 (phone)

650.560.6293 (fax)

[email protected]

Information needed while filing the complaint:

Information which you need to provide while filling the form is:

  • Complete contact information which will include full name, mailing address and phone number.
  • Complete description of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed.
  • Description of the content of the Facebook site which a person claims to be infringed.
  • Information which is sufficient so as to locate the material on the site, the best possible way to provide URL of the site leading directly to the matter.
  • A declaration that:
    • You are acting in good faith that the use of the content described above, in the manner you have complained of, is not authorized by the owner, its agent, or the law.
    • The information provided in the notice is accurate.
    • You declare, under penalty of perjury, that you are the actual owner or you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive copyright that is allegedly infringed.
  • At the end your electronic or physical signature.

What happens to submitted claims?

Facebook will process the claim which will result in removing the reported content on Facebook.

Information received by the other party: After the content is removed the party posted the content will receive warning which will inform them that the content they posted has been removed because of the notice of copyright infringement. The party will be supplied with information such as, (1) Complainant party’s content information, which will include (a) email address, (b) name of the organization or client and (c) content of the report.

If the party who has been alleged to made infringement believes that the content should not have been removed, the party may reach out to the other party and try to solve the dispute. If the content has been removed under the notice and counter-notice procedures of the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), they will also be able to submit a counter-notification under the DMCA.

IP infringement by third party making the app

Some apps are third party made apps for example candy crush. Facebook does control the content made available through those apps. You may file a report on https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/500898053353352 .

 Trademark infringement on Facebook

A trademark is basically a word, slogan, symbol or design for example brand name, logo which distinguishes the products or service offered by one person, group or company from another. Trademark law seeks to prevent confusion among consumers about who provides or is affiliated with a product or service.

The owner of a trademark may claim rights to a trademark through registration with a recognized trademark office. In certain countries and in certain situations, rights for an unregistered trademark may be created through actual use of the trademark in commerce or business. Keep in mind that just registering a company with a government office or getting a business permit may not by itself create trademark rights.

A person having a Facebook account or a person having no Facebook account can also file for trademark infringement. If you believe that someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, then ( https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/208282075858952 ) follow this link and fill out the form.

Information needed while filing the complaint:

The form is requires to be submitted with following information:

  • Complete contact information which will include full name, mailing address and phone number.
  • The specific word, symbol, etc. in which you are claiming for Trademark.
  • Basis of your claim of trademark right such as National or Community registration with registration number (if any).
  • The country or jurisdiction under which you are claiming for the trademark right.
  • The category of goods and/or services for which you assert rights.
  • Information which is sufficient so as to locate the material on the site, the best possible way to provide URL of the site leading directly to the matter.
  • Description of how you believe the content infringes you trademark.
  • If you are not the right holder, then an explanations of your relationship to the rights holder.
  • A declaration that:
    • You are acting in good faith that the use of the content described above, in the manner you have complained of, is not authorized by the owner, its agent, or the law.
    • The information provided in the notice is accurate.
    • You declare, under penalty of perjury, that you are the actual owner or you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of a trademark that is allegedly infringed.
  • At the end you electronic or physical signature.

Information related to IP infringement by third party making the app and what happens to submitted claims? Is same as the infringement made under Copyright answers, answered above.

So if next time you are uploading anything on Facebook then know your rights. The best precaution is to edit your privacy settings and immune yourself from any intellectual property infringement. If someone is making interference with you intellectual property rights, then you know the procedure of filing complain now, make sure you make the appropriate claims.

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