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Facebook horror stories
Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 3:06 PM on 12.12.13
->> We all know the really bad TOS agreement for Facebook as it impacts photogs, but does anyone know of an actual example of Facebook doing something egregious with someone's work? My feeling is that those confiscatory TOS (term of service) stipulations are "catch-all" inclusions thrown in by paranoid lawyers that bear no resemblance to reality.

In other words, how many times has FB actually USED/SOLD someone's work in the manner reflected on the TOS? Do they, as a matter of daily business, actively sell or use people's work that would justify the fear of that agreement?

If you can relate this to the paperwork required to buy a house (or car) that has reams and reams of disclosures, agreements, stipulations, etc. that will never impact the homeowner in real life. People do not even read the stuff they sign buying a house, yet therein lies silent and long-dormant landmines that will actually never explode. They are there to satisfy lawyers and for no other reason.

What's the consensus?
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PJ Heller, Photographer
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 4:48 PM on 12.12.13
->> How about some of these?

UGA student seeks $2 million in lawsuit over use of Facebook photo

B.C. woman suing Facebook for unauthorized use of her photos: What is her case? and also at

Parents suing Facebook for using children’s photos on ads

Woman sues after her picture used in HIV ad (Getty Images)

Why I am Suing Facebook
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James Broome, Photographer
Tampa | FL | US | Posted: 5:20 PM on 12.12.13
->> PJ - Your first and fourth examples are not suits against Facebook.
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 7:20 PM on 12.12.13
->> Actually none of these are examples of what I'm asking about.

Let's say I post a shot of a 2013 Chevy Camaro using a nice landscape background. Facebook then sells the image to the Chevy ad agency, which in turn uses it in magazines and outdoor display ads for Chevy.

These previous examples are of uses within Facebook, and the next-to-last was the fault of Getty, not Facebook, if I'm reading this right.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 7:30 PM on 12.12.13
->> Here's my horror story:

Print sales up 108% since I began promoting my images heavily on my FB page. Nearly all are watermarked.
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 1:31 PM on 12.13.13
->> Phil, just because they haven't done something in the past, doesn't mean they won't do it in the future. If the TOS allow them specific usage then your images are at risk of being used that way.
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Andrew Wheeler, Photographer
Capitola | CA | USA | Posted: 12:57 AM on 12.14.13
->> Chuck.

Print/calendar/whatever sales for me are in a different way more valuable than what I'm paid from, I do not have to wait/chase down/be a collection service.

I still have a huge volume of work published globally as well

I get paid instantly. It helps having nearly 20K "likes' so when I send out a newsletter it makes a difference, but I'll not do anything differently.
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 1:47 AM on 12.14.13
->> Point well taken, Kevin...
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Ian L. Sitren, Photographer
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 12:48 PM on 12.14.13
->> My opinion is that you have to weigh out the pro's and con's of using Facebook or any social media for your own purposes.

For myself, Facebook has been tremendous marketing boost for the last three years, more or less. And yes to the question I always get asked, it has directly increased my revenue.

Have I had copyright violations? Oh Yeah! Not from Facebook but from others and I am not referring to just the usual individuals copying photos on putting them on blogs and such.

To those I have been successful in using direct requests for removal as well as DMCA Takedown Notices. One mistakenly used a photograph in a full page magazine ad, they paid up very quickly realizing the error in their ways. Another could still be likely to be on the wrong end of a lawsuit in US District Court and certainly has heard from my attorney.
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Andrew Wheeler, Photographer
Capitola | CA | USA | Posted: 8:46 PM on 12.15.13
->> Ian,

Same for me too.

I was alerted (by one of the many people who know what I do) to a company (motorcycle racing protective gear) that was using one of my images and they wondered if they had permission to use it.

Thankfully via a kind follower (on Twitter) who is an IP solicitor in the UK on I was able to construct a letter (that made sense!) to the company demanding that I be paid for it's usage.

Before I wrote to them however, I researched where my image had showed up, and most of the social media places, such as Pinterest, FB, their website, showed that they'd snagged my images from my FB Page here...

...and had removed the captioning information and had repurposed it for Pinterest, their website and a sponsored story on FB.

(As advised by my new IP solicitor friend in the UK) I hit them with evidence of their illicit usage, wrote to FB (who were very helpful) and invoiced them for actual usage plus some more (as advised) and they paid it...

FB have been very good if I write to them when an image is being used without my consent, but what is really helpful is the rapport one develops with folks on your page as you can simply ask them to report any images they think is your being used without permission.

I just passed over 20K "Likes" today and for me my FB page has been invaluable to my business.

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Thread Title: Facebook horror stories
Thread Started By: Phil Hawkins
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