Jabberbox Designs, makers of the Jawbox case for Bluetooth headsets, recently announced that its Facebook fan page was recently taken offline. Jabberbox says that Facebook cited a copyright infringement complaint.
According to Facebook's help page on the subject, their policy on removing alleged copyrighted or infringed upon content does not allow for rebuttal from the accused. Instead, pages are taken down after a brief complaint form, which only contains the complainant's name and contact information, is completed and reviewed. No information regarding the alleged violation is required. It is not understood whether or not Facebook makes any attempts to verify and validate the identity of the complainant.
"Facebook’s policy appears to be prone to hacker attack and is an easy backdoor hack because of Facebook's weak policy," says Chad Hankee, co-founder of Jabberbox. Last April, Redmond Pie, a tech blog afflicted by the same misguided Facebook policy and removed from the site, had this to say on the matter - “Facebook probably has tried to keep their policies self protective. They simply disable access to any content that is under any sort of conflict and don’t restore it unless one of the parties prevail in court. What if one of the parties is a person that is unreachable like it was in our case?” Facebook eventually reviewed the complaint, and restored the Redmond Pie page.
Facebook released the following statement on the matter last spring, according to PRN:
We have invested significant resources into creating a dedicated team that uses specialized tools, systems and technology to review and properly handle intellectual property notices. This system evaluates a number of factors when deciding how to respond and, in many cases, we require the reporter to provide additional information before we can take action. As a result of these efforts, the vast majority of intellectual property notices that we receive are handled without incident. Of course, no system is perfect and we are always striving to improve our practices. As such, we will be considering the results of our investigation into this matter as we continue to refine our systems and procedures.
The situation with Jabberbox makes it appear that Facebook has done little to modify their procedures on the infringement matter. So far, Jabberbox has tried to contact their complainant to get the matter resolved, but the official complaint form lists the party as being unreachable, putting the entire issue in Facebook's hands.