What legal action should I take if my personal videos/images from my Facebook account are used for the commercial purpose by someone?

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Any videos or images uploaded on any Facebook account becomes the property of Facebook which means that the user has given the copyright of the video or image to Facebook when they publish it on this social site. The issue of data theft, especially of images has been a subject of intense debate on one hand and confusion on the other.

No Use of Stealing

Coming to the question, you can surely initiate legal action against the individual who has stolen your personal videos or images and has used it illegally. Just ensure that you have the entire matter in control, meaning, the images have to be genuinely yours and created/shot by you. These can't be images or videos that you might have copied from some other source; in that case, you'll be the one who will invite trouble. Facebook has a number of tools and technologies that will discourage theft of images because the downloadable version is usually of poor quality and will not be useful for whoever wishes to use it illegally.

Take Action

The procedure is the same as in any other case of plagiarism or illegal use of content. You may begin by sending a polite but firm email to the abuser of your content, asking him to remove the videos or images he had stolen from your Facebook account immediately. Do mention in the letter that this is an illegal act and is punishable by the Copyright Act.

If this doesn't work, the next step is to send a C&D (Cease and Desist) notice which basically warns this individual of the legal action that will follow in case the illegal use of your IP (Intellectual Property) continues. If the person is foolish enough to continue ignoring this warning he will face stricter penalties that will bring his website down.

Data Theft will Not Get You Fame

A lot of folks imagine that the internet being a public domain, allows data such as images and videos to be used for free. Yes, there is a certain category of data like the works of the great classical and romantic poets and novelists that are now in the public domain and can be downloaded for free. However, only a fool will use the data and claim it to be his own; he will lose his credentials if he did so.

Updated on 27-Jun-2020 07:28:34