Some people tend to see social networking sites like Facebook as a way to market themselves. But I’m guessing most people don’t realize that the content of their Facebook pages basically becomes the property of Facebook to use pretty much how it likes forever.
You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and distribute (through multiple tiers), any User Content you (i) Post on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof subject only to your privacy settings or (ii) enable a user to Post, including by offering a Share Link on your website and (b) to use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising, each of (a) and (b) on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof.
Translated from legalese: not only can Facebook use anything you put there — pictures, posts, what have you — however it wants at no cost forever, it can also use your name and photo “for any purpose” forever as long as the use is somehow “in connection with” Facebook or the promotion of Facebook. Moreover, here’s what Facebook deleted from that paragraph: “If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.”
Granted, most of us probably don’t have a lot of material on Facebook that’s of value. But if you’re an artist, do you really want your work appearing in a Facebook ad without compensation or perhaps any attribution? Do you want the photo a friend posts that makes you or your spouse look silly being used to promote Facebook without your permission?
Hoping to quell an internet uproar about these provisions, Mark Zuckerberg, one of the founders of Facebook, sought to reassure users in a blog post Monday afternoon. “In reality, we wouldn’t share your information in a way you wouldn’t want,” he wrote.
The bottom line? To paraphrase an old internet catchphrase: “All your content are belong to us.”
If you want to share your thoughts on what should be in the new terms, check out our group Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.
Actually responding to user complaints. Quite the concept.
If we have a property system, and that system is properly balanced to the technology of a time, then it is wrong to take property without the permission of a property owner.
Lawrence Lessig, Free Culture