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FOX43 Finds Out: What to do if someone is using your Facebook photos

WINDSOR, Pa -- Christina Leiphart thought it would be fun to help her friend with a little photo shoot in York County.

This picture was part of that shoot.

"I think she was doing something with cars and she wanted to use my brother's truck. It was this lifted Dodge Dakota so I was like I'll wear camo and it will all go together," said Leiphart.

That was seven years ago.

Now  the same photo zoomed in, cropped and someone else's website is on it is being shared on social media.

Leiphart says, " Here's my picture, used by this company. I don't know if they were promoting, but they took the picture without getting approval."

The doctored photo ended up on the "I want to marry a country boy" Facebook page.

It has been shared more than 200 times.

"You need to have approval to do this kind of stuff. You can't just go and steal someone's picture. Especially someone's picture that wasn't meant to be shared like that."

Leiphart says her friend, who originally took the photo and put her photography page on the original, wanted to know how the Facebook page found this photo from 7 years ago.

"The photographer had messaged them about taking the picture down and they said that they had received it as a meme and I'm like, well that's funny because your website is on it."

The website on the edited picture is Love Chrip gifts.

We tried to ask the owners of the company where they got the photo from.

Our Facebook messages and emails were never answered, though the picture has now been removed.

Leiphart said, "It's creepy, it really is. I think when it comes down to it, I'm thoroughly creeped out about the whole situation. So, how many people has this happened to?"

Alan Feldman is an IT consultant in York County and says photos are so easy to search today, so this is probably happening more than we know.

However, it's still not legal.

"Just not knowing the copyright laws is not good enough."

He says the problem here is the company used the photo in a way that seems to promote its business.

"As soon as I slap my logo on that or I turn it into an advertisement for my business, now I have to obtain copyright rights to that."

There are ways that you can protect yourself from having someone using your photos, you have to do your own policing though.

Facebook allows you to file a complaint because of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act - which expands the law to internet content.

"So that would be step one. There`s no charge for that," said Feldman.

He says step two would be getting a lawyer who could draft a cease and desist letter, that though likely isn't free.

Luckily for Leiphart, her doctored photo has been removed.

"Yeah, I'm flattered that they used the picture, but you could have asked. Both of us probably would have let them do it."

This can definitely get confusing for business owners, especially those who use social media to advertise.

Experts say your best bet is to search royalty-free photos.

Which means you can use those pictures without crediting anyone.

Even Feldman says he even received a cease and desist letter once for using a picture he thought was fair game.

If you have a story you want Jackie to look into, FOX43 wants to find out. Let her know, send me a message on Facebook or shoot me an email at FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com.