Photographer loses embedding lawsuit against Meta… For now

Oct 27, 2022

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Photographer loses embedding lawsuit against Meta… For now

Oct 27, 2022

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Earlier this year, a photographer filed a lawsuit against Meta. As in some previous cases, it was because of Meta’s embed tool which allows anyone to add photos to third-party websites without asking for permission.

However, the photographer lost the case – or more precisely, he lost this round. The judge gave him permission to amend his complaint, which means that he could win the war despite losing this battle.

Photographer Don Logan filed a class action lawsuit against Meta in February 2022. According to Reuters, he did it on behalf of a group of photographers, not just himself. Their photos were allegedly “embedded from Facebook onto third-party websites, or from other websites onto Facebook,” Reuters writes, in both cases without their permission.

But U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer dismissed most of Logan’s allegations. He said that, since the third parties didn’t store the copies of images and videos, they didn’t “fix” the copyrighted work in any “tangible medium of expression.” Logan also alleged false advertising in his lawsuit, but Breyer dismissed them as well. The judge said that Meta didn’t misinterpret the “creation and ownership” of his photos.

“Breyer also rejected Logan’s claims that Facebook misused pictures from other websites because he had not shown that those pictures were registered with the U.S. Copyright Office,” Reuters writes. However, the judge added that Logan may be able to show that Meta saved some of the photos to its servers. This gives him an opportunity to amend his complaint. And according to his attorney – that’s exactly what he’ll do. Logan’s Lee Squitieri told Reuters in an email that his client plans to refile the lawsuit and believes he can “cure all of the flaws noted by the court.”

This isn’t the first lawsuit involving Meta’s embedding tool. It’s also not the first lost one. Back in 2020, photographer Stephanie Sinclair sued Mashable over copyright infringement after they embedded her Instagram post into their article. However, the New York federal court dismissed her lawsuit. Later that year, Instagram came forward saying that it does not grant a sublicense to anybody who embeds public Instagram posts. It’s all pretty confusing, isn’t it? But there’s more.

In 2021, nature photographer Paul Nicklen won a copyright lawsuit against the Sinclair Broadcast Group over nearly the same thing. He posted a video on his Instagram, which Sinclair embedded on its website. But I said “nearly the same” because Sinclair also included a screenshot from the video without asking the photographer for permission first. And in December 2021, Instagram had the decency to finally make the embedding optional. So, now you can choose whether or not you want your Instagram content to be embeddable and shared on third-party websites.

Considering the different verdicts from the previous cases, anything can happen in the Logan vs. Meta case. The judge has given Logan a chance to refile the lawsuit and there’s still room for a plot twist – and we’ll keep you updated about it.

[via PetaPixel]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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3 responses to “Photographer loses embedding lawsuit against Meta… For now”

  1. DIYP community member Avatar
    DIYP community member

    This is utter bullshit from someone who doesn’t understand or doesn’t want to understand how the internet works.

    If his photo was on a website legitimately, and a link on that website was shared on facebook, facebook may use a thumbnail of that image as a page preview. This is to make the link more effective, driving more traffic to the page in question.

    If he somehow thinks Facebook owes him money for advertising someone elses’ website (possibly his) for free…

    If you don’t want your photo to be used by facebook as a preview image you can specify another, which can be just blank, with

    I hope this nonsense gets struck down entirely and this case gets entirely thrown out.

  2. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    This is utter bullshit from someone who doesn’t understand or doesn’t want to understand how the internet works.

    If his photo was on a website legitimately, and a link on that website was shared on facebook, facebook may use a thumbnail of that image as a page preview. This is to make the link more effective, driving more traffic to the page in question.

    If he somehow thinks Facebook owes him money for advertising someone elses’ website (possibly his) for free…

    If you don’t want your photo to be used by facebook as a preview image you can specify another, which can be just blank, with

    I hope this nonsense gets struck down entirely and this case gets entirely thrown out.

    1. Dararat Saifak Avatar
      Dararat Saifak

      Wow are you confused. The case in in regard to copyrighted work Facebook took used as its own and distributed to millions of its users, with no link, no reference and no attribution whatsoever. The court it would seem already ruled that if the works were copyrighted and they were then the plaintiff has a case. Take a look at the docket as the only one to obtain any benefit was Facebook who took copyrighted images and made them their own.