What protections are available for images owned by me and published via social media when they are taken, edited, then re-published?

For example I publish an image which belongs to me on Facebook. The image is then taken, modified, and republished.

The image is edited with comments beneath them which causes upset and alarm to me and close family.

  • It would very much depend on the circumstances. Can you be more specific?
    – Terry
    Dec 14, 2015 at 15:51
  • Hi @Terry i've edited my question. Hope this helps :-) Dec 14, 2015 at 15:55
  • It would also depend on what is written, and who owns the images. At these taken by you or someone else?
    – Terry
    Dec 14, 2015 at 16:00
  • Copyright is the first line of defense against misuse of your images. But it's quite possible that the alteration and republication you describe falls under "Fair Use." In which case you would have to look at other laws against posting images that upset and alarm: E.g., terroristic threats, privacy rights. Not sure about those for UK.
    – feetwet
    Dec 14, 2015 at 19:51

2 Answers 2


It's not necessarily a copyright issue, but if the person causes harm to your reputation through injurious falsehoods, you may have a claim of defamation; if they persist in this kind of behaviour, you may have a claim of harassment.

Defamation, or libel, would depend on whether the statements cause your standing within your community to diminish, and on whether the statements are untrue.

Harassment depends on, among other things, whether they have done this before and whether this causes you to feel distressed, humiliated, or threatened.

Remember that despite terms and conditions, you cannot contract outside of a law; such terms are illegal and void.


Assuming you own the copyright; none. Under the Facebook terms and conditions, you gave Facebook a royalty-free licence in perpetuity to do whatever they want with everything you post, including sub-licensing it.

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