Photo sharing is becoming a hot topic in social media and Facebook is the first place that many people and businesses upload their photos. The photos on Facebook can be really unique and could inspire you to use these published photos on your blog, in your magazine, or designs. Think before you act as you do not have permission to use these photos and using them, no matter how cool or unique they are could put you on the hot seat.
Who owns photos on Facebook once they are uploaded?
Facebook has been very clear that once a photo is uploaded onto a personal profile or fanpage, the rights to that photo belong to Facebook. Crazy but true, and this has stopped a lot of people from uploading photos to Facebook.
Lets look at an example of a Facebook uploaded photo. You go to a family reunion and take a bunch of photos from the weekend. To share the event with family members and friends, you upload the photos to your Facebook page. As soon as you do that, Facebook becomes the owner of the photos. You no longer own the rights to the photos. So if Facebook chooses to use your photo in an ad to promote Facebook, you can not ask for compensation. You can not even ask Facebook to remove it as you did not provide permission. By uploading your personal photos to Facebook, they own the rights. No arguing.
If a business does the same on their fanpage, they lose the rights to that photo that they owned.
Facebook is the only social media network with this rule
Other photo sharing social media platforms provide the user with copyright options for their photos. Flickr explains all the options you have as the owner of the photos and lets you choose which option you want to attach to your photos. Picasso does the same. Facebook did not provide their social media network users the option, they told each user in their privacy rights what rights Facebook has for media uploads.
Take note of photo use on social media networks
If you need a photo, use your own personal photos, hire a photography to take photos or the best way to obtain the legal use of photos is through stock photo agencies who are in the business of selling stock photos with digital rights so you can safely and correctly use photos for a very small fee. Many photos can be purchased for under $ 1USD and in some cases as low as 21 cents. This is the best way to obtain great photos with digital rights and ensure that you do not compromise yourself, your designs, you content or the photographer. There are a lot of stock photo agencies in the business of selling photos for this very reason and it is just finding the right stock photo agency that fits your photo needs and budget.