The following is a guest post by an anonymous reader, with a bit of formatting by me. Many thanks to this guest blogger for the thorough and enlightening post!
If you are familiar with Facebook, you will know that people share photos and videos on Facebook quite readily. You've probably done it yourself. It's what Facebook is all about, right?
Well, yes, sort of. You have to be careful in how you do it in order to protect copyright law. Regarding posting content, they have some rules for "Protecting other people's rights."
By doing this you have violated the first rule of posting in Facebook's Terms of Service...you have "posted content...that violates someone else's [copy]rights." And you have broken copyright law, which you can be sued for. Don't believe it can happen to you because you aren't making money off of the photos or you are careful to mention where you got the photos? Think again! One blogger explained about her painful experience with being sued here: http://www.roniloren.com/blog/2012/7/20/bloggers-beware-you-can-get-sued-for-using-pics-on-your-blog.html Only if you have permission to use the photo can you "post" it without violating copyright laws.
Now "Doula Dorothy" is unlikely to sue my friend Danielle for copying the meme. But someone who makes their living off of selling photos just might.
So what does this have to do with Brio?
Many people have wondered what is behind the astronomical growth in Brio's fan base. Like most anything else of value, the Brio Bunch has built their fan base through intellectual property (IP) theft. Photos like those of the explosive pregnancy from an air pump that was shared 275 times in the first 17 hours after Brio posted it. The Brio Bunch claimed not to be able to find the original owner of this series of pictures, but I was able to find out that the photographer's name is Patrice Laroche in Canada with only a minimal amount of Google sleuthing.
When a fan of Brio Birth shares one of Brio's stolen pictures, and then several of their friends share the picture, and then several of their friends share the picture...it retains links back to Brio's page, and a quick link for people to click on to "like" Brio Birth. One video that Brio Birth has pirated in this manner about an 8 month old boy getting a cochlear implant has gotten 350,000 shares and over 800,000 likes! This gives them huge exposure from which to gain new fans. Most likely most of them don't really care about low intervention birth, but just like the cute pictures and videos that are shared on the Brio Birth page.
What happens if you post photos that belong to someone else? In addition to possibly suing you, the copyright holder can report the photos to Facebook as an IP theft and have them removed from Facebook. If this happens enough times you may "get thrown in Facebook jail." That is, as per rule # 5, your posting privileges may be disabled. Recently some of the photos Brio has been posting have been reported as IP infringement, and this is likely what has led to the Brio Bunch labeling their photos as "Shared with permission from..." or "we don't know who owns this..." BTW...getting permission to re-post stolen IP is also illegal, so just because the Brio Bunch is thanking Birth Stories on Demand for sharing the food based cervical dilation chart does not get them off the hook for IP theft; though it seems unlikely that the original owner of this piece is interested in protecting the IP as it has been posted far and wide on the internet without any apparent attempt to have it removed.
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So there you have it... this appears to be how Brio Birth is seeing such explosive growth in their fan base. Most of the likes are not directly from the birth community or parents impacted by Brio Birth - they are simply people who liked pictures and videos that were posted. Pictures and videos that were stolen. Apparently, this is Brio's definition of "doing good." If you see IP shared by Brio Birth that you know is not appropriately credited, you may wish to point it out to Brio - or the owner of the IP.