How to report copyright infringement on Facebook

The ever-evolving FacebookGate — a scheme uncovered two years ago wherein companies outside of higher education create official-looking groups to attract incoming freshman — is back.

These unofficial groups have become a problem in recent years because of the potential to confuse an audience and dilute an institution’s brand. Several higher education colleagues have tackled the issue in recent days.

Combating the problem is a challenging one, but I thought Michael Fienen put it best:

“What we can do is help people be smart. We can give them good resources. By being good community members ourselves, we’ll be doing our students and supporters the best service that can be expected.”

In an effort to further spread awareness and offer practical advice, I’m posting a link to Facebook’s DCMA Notice of Copyright Infringement.

Most of the unofficial groups don’t contain hate speech, violence or pornography, so it doesn’t make much sense to report them through the normal “Report Group” function.

However, most do include an unsanctioned use of a university logo. If the unofficial group contains a logo in violation of copyright laws, Facebook’s DCMA Notice of Copyright Infringement could be your best bet.

Here’s what the form requests:

  • Name, mailing address, telephone, e-mail
  • Identify the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed.
  • Identify the content on our site that you claim infringes your copyright.
  • Where does the infringing content appear on our site? Please provide URLs to help us locate the content you are reporting.
  • How does the content infringe your rights?

I realize reporting the unofficial groups isn’t going to make the problem go away, but if it could be one step in creating a solution, I’m all for it.

Additional reading on the topic:

Image: Boaz Yiftach /

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3 Responses to “How to report copyright infringement on Facebook”

  1. Rachel #

    I have had a recent problem with someone using a photo of mine of which has a copyright on it. The person that is using my picture is an alias of someone harassing me, ie a fake account.
    I did the report through Facebook 3 separate times, each time the photo was removed immediately. After the 3rd removal I received notice from FB that I had a counter complaint. The the person lied on the counter complaint, made claims that are 100% false; committing perjury.
    Now, I have 10-14 days to provide FB with proof that I am seeking a court order for this individual to cease using my property. I can prove who I am and I can prove the picture in question is mine, yet they are taking the word of a fake profile name and a counter complaint full of lies.

    I sent a cease and desist letter to the person, who’s email was provided on the counter complaint and sent a carbon copied it to FB. They still want a court order showing my intent.

    My question is, how do you get a court order to have a fake person stop using your property and infringing on your rights? You don’t.

    The name /account in question has been reported several times for harassment and being a fake profile. FB has done nothing about that matter, which I believe, had they addressed that matter, this copyright infringement would not be happening now.

    December 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm
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