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  • » news » Facebook Boosts IP Protection on Instagram to Combat Sales of Counterfeit Goods
  • Nov 16, 2021
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Team TIS

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Facebook has announced that it will be increasing the IP protection of Instagram users in order to combat the sale of counterfeit goods through the popular photo-sharing app. With this update, Instagram users will have even more tools at their disposal to report cases of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and patent infringement, including an easy way to report possible violations to Facebook’s team of lawyers via the app’s Help Center tab.

The company also claims that it will be making ongoing efforts to ensure that its users are aware of these new features and their rights under the law when it comes to intellectual property protection on social media.

The new system will help IP owners provide better protection on Instagram, Facebook said in a statement. To report an infringing post or account, you can now simply tap the More menu and select Report Post or Report Account, and our systems will do the rest, it added.

Before these changes were introduced, Instagram users could only report content to Instagram if they were personally affected by that content – such as with impersonation or harassment – or if they were able to identify the individual responsible for uploading the content – such as with copyright infringement.

1) What’s new?

Facebook Inc is bolstering its protection of intellectual property rights on photo-sharing site Instagram, targeting sales of counterfeit goods like handbags and sunglasses, part of a global crackdown by brands.

Facebook said on Tuesday it would take legal action against sites that sell fake goods using its social network’s popular ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons. The crackdown also extends to fan pages operated by individuals or companies selling counterfeit products without authorisation.

Facebook already prohibits use of its buttons for unauthorized selling via apps that drive traffic off Facebook, like Like-A-Deal. It plans to disable those buttons for real world sellers not in compliance with its policies within 30 days.

2) Why did Facebook do this?

Facebook says it has been working for more than a year with law enforcement agencies, rights holders and other companies that use its platform to fight intellectual property infringement. For example, Facebook has been working with luxury goods sellers such as Tiffany & Co. and LVMH Moe ̈ t Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA to identify counterfeit items posted by sellers on its platform.

The luxury goods makers have previously used Amazon’s site as a showroom where they can advertise their wares without being undercut by grey market retailers who seek a profit from sales on Amazon’s site even though they don’t pay Amazon any fees for doing so. But Amazon is also very aggressive about going after unauthorized resellers—and those goods can be hard to find once Amazon starts policing them better.

3) How is Facebook combating fake accounts?

Fake accounts are a big problem for Facebook. A new report from CNN suggests that there are over a billion fake accounts on Facebook—that’s about 8 percent of their user base. In an effort to get rid of them, Facebook is changing how users make profiles and report suspicious ones.

Fake accounts can be used for more than just trolling—many operate as click farms, which generate false activity and ad views, or they can be set up to sell counterfeit goods. It seems like these changes won’t do much to combat fake accounts, but it will at least give people an easy way to spot fakes in their feeds.

The update will roll out over time so you may not notice it right away if you don’t go looking for it.

4) What should brands be doing now?

With counterfeit products becoming more common, brands should do their due diligence when it comes to purchasing goods for promotional campaigns. Brands can protect themselves against counterfeits by ensuring that they purchase directly from reputable manufacturers or distributors.

The increased IP protection Facebook has brought to Instagram is encouraging, but there are still ways that brands could be vulnerable. If you’ve ever received an email about sponsored content and wondered whether it was real or not, take a closer look at what’s happening in your Facebook inbox—hackers send out emails with links that direct you towards phishing sites set up by con artists.

Conclusion

Facebook is taking more steps to ensure that fake products and fake sales don’t appear on its platforms. According to a press release issued Thursday, Facebook has partnered with several e-commerce companies—including Alibaba, MercadoLibre, and Facebook itself—to better protect brands from counterfeit goods sold through its ad platform.

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