Facebook is working on giving creators more control over their images and how and where they are used across its platforms

After music and video copyrights, Facebook is working on the rights of images shared across its platforms. Recently, Facebook has updated its rights management platform, and now the company is seeking to work with several partners who will have the power to claim ownership of images that appear on the platforms of Facebook app and Instagram. These partners will moderate those images, but Facebook has not revealed their partners yet.

To understand this phenomenon better, let us assume that if a brand like National Geographic wants to upload a picture that they wish to have full rights on, they will have to upload it on Facebook’s Rights Manager as a CSV file. The Rights Manager contains all the metadata of that image, and National Geographic will specify where the copyrights will apply and which territories they want to leave. The Rights Manager will then verify the match between metadata and the image, and then it will start monitoring the image and where it shows up, or who uses it across Facebook and Instagram. If another person tries to claim this image, National Geographic can dispute the claim, and Facebook will eventually yield to the party that filed the claim first. This decision can further be taken to Facebook’s IP reporting forms.

The gist of the matter is that, for example, if someone or some other brand tries to use National Geographic’s picture, Nat geo will have all the right to choose whether the image should stay up or not. Any company or brand or individual creator whose images are being used by someone else, can use their rights and can issue a takedown, or can also cause a territorial block so that their post is not viewable in the regions or territories where the company’s copyrights apply.

The product manager of creator and publisher experience at Facebook, Dave Axelgard told media outlets that Facebook is trying to take these steps very cautiously and carefully. They want to make sure that they understand the use case well from this current set of their trusted partners before the company expands it out for a broader group. This 'copyright on images' tool is very powerful and sensitive too, so Facebook needs to make it as safely usable as possible for people out there.

It has become a common practice to repost images from one account to the other, and people think that by giving credits and tagging the original creator is enough. However, this new feature will put these people in a tight spot. Many so-called ‘content creators’ use images from others’ pages on their own page. Now, the original creator can actually claim their rights over the image and even issue a takedown notice for the image if they want to do so. This will prompt people to start being creative and bring on their photos rather than using others’ work to improve their own value.

According to Dave Axelgard, the company is working with a small group to learn more about how to figure out and address special use cases like memes, which go through constant editing processes.

Read next: Facebook is rolling out the ‘Create Post Tests’ option for some users in the Creator Studio app
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