Facebook Extends 4-Year-Old ‘Rights Manager’ Video Copyright Tool To Still Photography

By 09/21/2020
Facebook Extends 4-Year-Old ‘Rights Manager’ Video Copyright Tool To Still Photography

Facebook is launching today an iteration of its Rights Manager tool — originally designed to enable video creators to protect and manage their IP across the platform — for static imagery.

The social network launched Rights Manager for video in 2016 and a comparable product for music in 2018 — in conjunction with signing licensing deals with several major record labels. The latest product was designed with myriad rights holders in mind — from indie photography creators to massive image archives. The tool operates across both Facebook and Instagram by enabling rights holders to upload their photos as reference files and then harnesses matching technology to detect infringements.

While the video product was released in 2016 amid user demand, Facebook product manager Dave Axelgard said that the photo tool — which has been in the works for at least two years — similarly serves as a response to user feedback and behavior shifts. “Especially on places like Instagram, we’ve seen really incredible photographers finding an audience and building huge followings in ways that we hadn’t really seen before,” he said.

All of the Rights Manager tools live within Creator Studio — a mobile and web platform that enables creators to publish, manage, and track their content.

On Monday, the Images tool will roll out to a “relatively small” and trusted subset of photography partners to gather feedback, Axelgard said. Applications for the program will also be available globally right here, and will be reviewed on a manual basis. While the video tool has currently rolled out to 7,000 users, Axelgard says the ultimate goal is to make all Rights Manager tools — which are free — available to anyone who can demonstrate a viable copyright claim.

Once the tool triggers a match, it bestows image rights holders with several options. They can either leave the infringing image up and monitor metrics; take it down within a specific country or territory; or have it removed from Facebook or Instagram globally. Creators can also pre-select trusted Pages and Profiles to allow them to reproduce their images without triggering a match.

While video Rights Manager offers creators another option — to monetize an infringing video’s ad revenue via the Claim Ad Earnings tool — no such option exists for images (yet). However, Axelgard says Facebook and Instagram are constantly seeking ways to help creators find audiences and build their businesses, and will seek feedback to determine how Rights Manager for Images can optimize monetization prospects.