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Blatant Plagarism on Facebook and What To Do About It

I had intended to write a review yesterday but I was really upset. My day started with seeing a message from a friend about Chenthil’s photos being plagiarised.

There’s this guy Ajit Degaonkar who has stolen photos from Chenthil’s Photography page and posted it on his page claiming they are his. He hasn’t limited himself to Chenthil’s photos but copied from other photographers like Audi Photography too. So, I did the obvious thing – reported his page, profile and even the photos. Then since Facebook is so slow on response, I enlisted help. I made a post on my profile about what had happened and asked my friends to report him too. I was hoping that the large number of reports would cause Facebook to take action.  However  Facebook did nothing. Here’s their response (my friends got similar responses) –

Since Facebook is Facebook and nothing is simple with them I did some reading on what I can do about this blatant plagiarism. I didn’t find anything online about what I can do. No one seems to have written on this topic so I went to look at what Facebook would allow me to do.

Facebook allows the creator of the content to report the plagiarised content to them as their intellectual property. This means that if you see someone’s work being misused you can’t do anything much about it, only the creator can. This sucks but it is so. Since this was Chenthil’s work and I have access to his account here is how I reported it.

1. Click on the little X at the right top corner of the post. Then click on the Report/Mark as Spam option.

2. You will now see the below message. Now click on the Report link.

3. This will cause the below pop-up. Click on the link at the bottom that reads “Is this your intellectual property?”.

4. You will be taken to this page.

5. You can read about Intellectual Property here. You can also read more about Copyright and access the reporting form here.

6. If the photo is of you or of a minor below 13 you can report the privacy violation here. Read more about Image Privacy Rights.

I have reported the photos on the copyright form for now. Lets see what Facebook does about it. Will keep you posted.

***[Update: It took almost 24 hours but the page and his profile have been pulled down by Facebook. My report saw no action from Facebook as you will see above, so I’m assuming they didn’t take action on all my friends reports either. However it seems that a copyright infringement report and privacy violation report along with over a score of complaints from different people did the trick. Thanks to everyone who helped Che and me make this happen :) ]

Finally here are screenshots of the copy cat.

On the left is the photo Chenthil took of my fractured finger in March this year. On the right is the copied photo with a photoshop job done on the date and place details.

Below is Chenthil’s album on the fire-cracker workers in Sivakasi.

This is the copied album.

Is there anything else I can do about this? Any other actions I can take against this guy? Please let me know in comments.

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  • Khozii

    I suggest send him to Thailand .. The Gays there will take care of him well :) — Other option hang till death …. Last option send him to Dubai as —>>> Cleaner + Helper needed urgently ( At this rate hes gona be jobless soon ) :)

  • Hemanth

    Nice article, Freya! Since some of my work – once a blog article, then a photography work – have been plagiarized on FB as well, I know how painful it is! We sweat out all the work and publish it on Facebook and some random guy downloads and re-posts it coolly, claiming it of his own! That’s plain ridddiculous! But the way I think about this is that, Facebook serves as a great platform for small businesses and artists – all for free – a luxury we never had before – and helps virality, but also makes plagiarism so easy. That’s painful to the content owners.

    At least now we know how to fight it, though we can’t prevent it!

  • Hemanth

    This also helps me realize how film producers would feel when they get to see their million dollar films on piracy sites on the very day of release!

  • freya3377

    Facebook for now is a great way for artists to reach out and showcase their work. Guess the possibility of plagiarism is price we pay to use Facebook.
    I hope to see them find new ways to avoid people stealing others work soon. Even something that just disables copying off facebook would be helpful. I think I did see something like that on Flickr where some photos have the right click option disabled.