Meta must face U.S. copyright lawsuit over Facebook Ads. Meta Platforms Inc lost a bid to dismiss a lawsuit in Northern California federal court brought by an artist who said Facebook violates her and other creators’ copyrights by allowing counterfeit ads on the platform.
Meta did not show that it was entitled to safe harbor from sculptor JL Cook’s claims under federal copyright law and could be liable for copyright infringement, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said in a Wednesday ruling.
Cook’s attorney Brian Gudmundson of Zimmerman Reed said Thursday that they were looking forward to entering the discovery phase of the case to learn more about “what is going on at Facebook that is causing this to happen to artists and creators across the country.”
Representatives for Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
Cook specializes in art depicting snakes and other reptiles. She told the court that counterfeiters have copied and reposted photos of her work in Facebook ads, leading to customers buying knockoffs.
Meta must face U.S. copyright lawsuit over Facebook Ads
Cook filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Meta last April for enabling the ads and allegedly failing to respond to her copyright-infringement notices.
Meta told the court in June that the platform was shielded by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act because it responded promptly to the notices, and that it was not responsible for the alleged infringement.
Rogers said Wednesday that Meta had not shown it was immune from the claims under the DMCA. She said Meta may not have acted quickly enough for protection under the law, noting Cook’s allegations that the company did not respond to her DMCA notices and did not remove the content until she reached out directly to Facebook’s intellectual property counsel.
Rogers also said Meta could be liable for direct copyright infringement for allegedly targeting the ads to Facebook users, and contributory or vicarious infringement for failing to remove them.
The court dismissed some of Cook’s other claims, including an allegation that Meta’s ads violate federal trademark law. Rogers allowed Cook to amend the claim but said she was “skeptical” that it could succeed.
The case is Cook v. Meta Platforms Inc, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 4:22-cv-02485.