Facebook gives brands new weapons to fight pirates and counterfeiters
Facebook announced new measures for brands to press their intellectual property rights, such as the ability to take revenue from videos that illicitly distribute their content, and a new search tool that sniffs out images of counterfeit products.
On Tuesday, Facebook announced the upgrades to its intellectual property protections. The safeguards focused on two key areas: Videos uploaded by creators that could violate a brand’s copyrighted materials; and fake products promoted by unscrupulous sellers. These are key areas that major corporations are keen to tackle, and ones where Facebook has had some issues in the past.
Facebook called the changes a “brand safety” update. With videos, Facebook adopted a policy that has been practiced on YouTube for years. Facebook will allow brands to claim videos that feature their proprietary content, and the brand could then receive any revenue generated from those videos. Facebook noted that this change will allow more videos to remain up, and eligible for commercial breaks, increasing inventory for ads, too.
“Expansion of this ability gives publishing pages the opportunity to use content owned by someone else in a video they upload without it being taken down, while also expanding inventory for advertisers and providing people with compelling content that might otherwise be blocked due to copyright issues,” Facebook said in its announcement.
Advertisers can choose to opt out of appearing in such claimed videos if they prefer.
Facebook also said it introduced a new metric for advertisers to gauge the size of the potential audiences they can reach depending on how many brand safety filters they use. Facebook has been trying to give brands more control over where their ads appear, so they can decide on the substance of the content and creators they want to support.
“We’re beginning to integrate publisher ‘allow lists’ and inventory filters—two brand suitability controls—into the reach estimator in Ads Manager,” Facebook said. “This will aim to provide an estimate of reach when these controls are applied.”
The other aspect of Facebook’s announcement touches on another sensitive subject—counterfeit goods being promoted through ads on Facebook and Instagram. The problem of counterfeiting has grown as Facebook introduced e-commerce tools that allow anyone to open up shop on the platform and start hawking goods.
In Facebook’s latest “transparency” report, where it reveals how much content has violated intellectual property, the company said it removed about 830,000 pieces of content related to counterfeit goods in the first half of 2020. Facebook removed 2.5 million pieces of content for violating copyright rules in the same timeframe.
Major brands, especially apparel makers, are particularly concerned about seeing knock-off products getting sold on social media and e-commerce sites. Facebook has beefed up its e-commerce features in the past year. It launched Shops, which are pop-up digital storefronts on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook also has Marketplace, where users can post items for sale.
On Tuesday, Facebook launched a way for brands to search Shops and Marketplace using images. Brands like a luxury handbag maker can upload images of their own apparel and find similar items that could violate their trademarks.