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Facebook will finally let you claim ownership of your photos

Facebook is making some changes to the platform that will make all users really happy, but especially if they’re photographers. Soon, you will be able to protect your photos and control where they are shared on both Instagram and Facebook. If you want to have them taken down, you’ll also be able to file a takedown request.

Rights Manager is nested under Facebook’s Creator Studio. According to Facebook, it uses image-matching technology “to help creators and publishers protect and manage their image content at scale.” It’s aimed at creators and publishers of all kinds, and it will work on both Pages and profiles.

So, how does it work? Well, you’ll need to apply for the Rights Manager first. Once you do, you’ll be able to add your content that you want to protect into a reference library. “Rights Manager will take it from there, finding any content on Facebook and Instagram that matches yours,” Facebook writes. Furthermore, you can choose if your ownership should apply worldwide or only in certain locations.

What happens when the Rights Manager detects your content on someone else’s Page or profile? You can choose what you’d like to do. You can request that Facebook monitors the content, attribute credit via an ownership link, or completely block it. If you want, you can add trusted partners and properties so they won’t match your reference files.

Facebook notes that the Rights Manager may not be suitable for everyone, though. “If you don’t manage a large content catalog, post new content on a regular basis or want to learn a new, robust tool, you may prefer to report individual infringements through our IP reporting form,” the company writes.

However, there’s a temporary downside of the new tool: for now, it’s only available to certain partners. Still, Facebook plans to roll it out to everyone after they see how it will perform. “We want to make sure that we understand the use case very, very well from that set of trusted partners before we expand it out,” Dave Axelgard of Facebook told The Verge. “Because, as you can imagine, a tool like this is a pretty sensitive one and a pretty powerful one, and we want to make sure that we have guardrails in place to ensure that people are able to use it safely and properly.”

There could be many obstacles to overcome and many tricky situations. For example, memes. As The Verge notes, it will be especially interesting to see how this will work with them. And according to Axelgard, this is exactly why Facebook is testing Rights Manager with a small group of partners first. He says that the company wants to “learn more and figure out the proper way to address specific use cases like memes.”

Personally, I hope that the Rights Manager for images will become available to everyone. This way, we may have less copyright infringement (or at least a more efficient way of dealing with it). There could also be fewer lawsuits over paparazzi photos that celebrities shared on Instagram. Although, I still wonder how we will deal with “artists” who print and sell other people’s Instagram photos. But let’s cross that bridge when we get to it.

[via The Verge]