Friday, December 14, 2012

Brio Birth - Growing Their Facebook Fan Base, One Intellectual Property Theft at a Time

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."
It is important to note that "posting" is different than "sharing."  When you "share" something, you are not claiming to hold any ownership in it.  You are just saying "hey, I thought this was interesting, and thought my friends might like it too." It's like loaning a book or CD to a friend. But you "post" something when you put it into your own photo album. You have made a copy of it and are claiming it as yours. Once it is in your photo album, when someone else shares it, it will then post to their profile as being YOUR picture.

By doing this you have violated the first rule of posting in Facebook's Terms of 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:  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 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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Incidentally, just because the Brio Bunch claims not to know how to contact the source of a particular piece of IP doesn't mean that is true.  They claimed not to know who the mother was of the boy with a cochlear implant mentioned above...but 4 months prior to saying that Naomi had watched the original video on YouTube.

It is simple to Google the account holder's YouTube ID, which leads to a Pinterest account that has the mother's real name.  If Naomi doesn't have a Pinterest account which would allow her to contact the mother via that forum, she could find her on Facebook.

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.  


  1. Thank you for explaining how important it is to know what and how to ethically post on Facebook. I have had some of my images used and it's just not right.
    And then to claim that these "likes" means you are the fastest growing childbirth organization compounds how wrong this is.

  2. So more proof that they have TAKEN things from. So Kylomi explain this please? How are you gonna argue your way out this one? How is this the birth community bringing you down? How is this a mistake and you didn't know? I feel so bad and guilty that I helped play a role in building your beginning fan base. Those that have work stolen and potential income because you took images from their hard work are not in the birth community and really have a case to sue you. The mother that has the CHILD, yes that child is now not a baby, with the cochlear implant should do the same. You are USING her child for gain, and I find that deplorable.

  3. So true Anonymous 8:23...they are using that child for gain. They apparently deliberately troll around looking for pictures and videos that often have nothing what-so-ever to do with birth, and post them in their own folders. The cochlear implant one had already been widely viewed on YouTube, so it was a pretty shrewed deduction on their part that they'd get a lot of "shares" out of it. And they keep re-posting it every couple of months to get it going again.

    BTW...its not just that the Brio Bunch needs to give proper credit on the photos and videos they use...they actually need to have PERMISSION to use the pictures from the original source. If they don't have permission...they can get sued...of course that is like trying to get blood from a stone...

    (This applies to you dear reader as well! Don't put other people's original artwork into your photo album or on your blog unless you *know* it is open source material or you are willing to take the risk of getting sued.)

  4. Another big one for me is that they have opened fan pages of big names in the birth world and many of us have liked that page thinking it is a real page for that person. Some say they are fan pages but there are some that just say the professionals name and it looks like an official page for that person and not a fan page. But if you look at the admins it is blank and they all happen to like Brio and share much of the same content.

  5. Apparently The Feminist Breeder thinks it is a big deal when people steal content from her:

    Interestingly...she supports Brio Birth, even when she's been told about how they steal other people's intellectual property.

  6. Looks like they stopped this practice of using others pictures as their own after this article appeared....guilty.

  7. Ignore my previous comment on 12/18 - they are back to stealing comics/images copyrighted...

  8. You know what's really sad is these artists are not being credited, not getting traffic to their own facebook pages, and not getting traffic to their own websites where they sell their work. Being an artist is a passion and I hate seeing them cheated. The Mayan Comic has a fan's comment about IP infringement from over 19 hours ago and no response from Brio Bunch and it's still there.

  9. Their website is down. Now if you go to it points directly to their Facebook page. Here's their post:

    Until further notice, will redirect here. We will do our best to keep this page as current as possible. Thank you for your continued support.

  10. So now you're telling lies about me, I see? Exactly what do you think you're going to accomplish with that? I'm not on ANYBODY'S side, but I know a damn liar when I see one, and I've just found one of your little supporters telling a damn lie about me. This is EXACTLY why I didn't jump into your little crusade. Anonymous trash talking on the internet? Gee, where have I heard that before? Pathetic. Do you think this zealot site is actually helping women? Nope. It's feeding your love of drama, and when you can't get enough attention, you throw my name into the mix. Even more pathetic.

    1. Good evening to you too, Gina! I'd like to help you out as much as possible, but I'm afraid your comment is a bit incoherent. I will respond to what I think I read, but it may wind up making as much sense as your comment.

      First of all, you seem to think this blog is about me. It's not. That is one of the reasons that I keep my identity and my relationship with Brio - other than the fact that I'm one of the hundreds they've scammed - anonymous. It is about informing the community about a scam that has hurt many reputable birth professionals, and trying to prevent it from hurting more of them. Therefore, I do not have "little supporters" or "fans" of any sort - this is a community that I am simply trying to facilitate, and I am reporting information that I discover and that is given to me by others. Call it a crusade if you will, but it is an effort for good, and I am not ashamed of it.

      You claim that I am telling "lies" about you - exactly what have I written that is a lie? If there is something false about you on this blog, please point it out and show me the truth of the matter - I am happy to make any corrections necessary. I am unaware of any such "lies", or even errors. Every public interaction that you have had with Brio/Kylomi would give any reasonable observer the impression that you support them. When people have approached you privately, whether they are reputable professionals or moms who are friends to the birth community, to inform you about Brio's scam and how you appear to support them, you attack and block those people.

      The only drama lover and attention seeker I'm seeing here is you, Gina. If my goals were what you say they are - and I'm seeing more than a little bit of projection there - I would be splashing my name and picture all over the internet. Maybe even a picture of me flipping the bird.

      Don't worry, I won't hold my breath for a response. Your comment above had all the hallmarks of a drive-by flounce.