As a photographer I have been using Facebook extensively to connect to friends, share photos and even create my official Facebook page for my Wedding and Travel Photography business. I have always adhered to some basic rules when posting photos so that I can be on the safe side, namely I watermark lightly with my name and I always post at low resolution.
It goes without saying that I don’t care if someone shares my photos, re-posts them as is etc. That’s the point of social media after all isn’t it? For those oblivious to mention the source, I don’t care that much as the watermark does its job of reminding them!
However, some smart-guys do not know that even worse than reckless copying, is the modification of original photos and especially the removal of watermarks without prior permission of the photographer! If you want to know why, please read this…
So I came across a Facebook page entitled Syros-Συρος that had some of my photos re-posted without references etc. but no problem! No issues for me as long as they are respected as “complete” works. I didn’t care for the lack of reference. But then, judging by the number of “Likes” that my Ermoupolis photo (shown above) collected, the anonymous administrator goes forward, crops the photo, removes the watermark and makes it his Page profile photo! Oh really?
Now, that made me furious. I left a message but in vain! They did not care to answer. I reported the issue to Facebook, by using their copyright infringement reporting tools, highlighting all aspects of the issue. To my positive surprise, Facebook reacted within almost eight (yes 8!!!) hours and took the profile photo down, leaving him with a question mark instead, as profile photo.
For me, that is an exceptional case for showcasing that Social Media (and Facebook of course) can indeed be platforms for safe sharing of your works, as long as you do take your own precautionary measures. Kudos Facebook for your prompt reactions and thanks for caring for our photography!