by jhon baker

This is a direct quote taken from their user agreement:

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:

  1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (“IP content”), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (“IP License”). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

It is for this reason that I am going to be ending my relationship with facebook as I have concern over their utilizing my intellectual property and copyrighted works for their own monetary gain – more so that they can sub-license (this means to a third party) without notification, permission or acknowledgment. The obvious question to me would then be “have they done so to my works” – not that I know of, but I cannot be sure as they are not required to report this activity to me.
A light example would be – while using facebook – have you ever seen a friends photo or avatar on an ad saying something along the lines of – “so and so likes this – do you?” – those ads are paid for, facebook sees monetary gain, the friend of yours did not. In an article on Mark Zuckerburg in Time Magazine they talked about how facebook has revolutionized the advertising market with its ability to target consumers directly for companies based on their likes and dislikes – no big deal, it’s actually a little smart – they then use this same information about their users to sell this marketing, advertise it on facebook directly to you, in hopes that you will click on the link because your friend did so. In addition they sell this information, using your photos, other images, words, statements, your copyrights and allow it to be used for further marketing by third party companies – not as small of a deal and while clever, totally evil.
it is possible that while I use facebook you could see an ad for some company – say Pepsi or Coke or that says – “when life gives you lemons, shut up and eat your lemons. drink 7up” This would normally be in direct violation of my copyright, registered copyright and even not copyrighted it would still hold copyright status anyway – and I would be able to sue the living wallet from them and recoup my dignity. With facebook’s user agreement containing the statement above – I would be unable to do that as they would have been able to license this major phrase from facebook for facebook’s monetary gain while not even acknowledging I exist. All I can do in this world is protect my self, my family and my creations from those that would mean themselves gain by our harm. I have weapons in the house for such abuses from criminals but no such redress with facebook.
For those seeking out irony in my direct quote – it falls under the purview of fair-use as outlined by copyright law and subsequent statutes.
When in college I studied copyright law – not because I wanted to be a lawyer, but because I wanted to be able to protect myself from lawyers. In saying that, as funny as it is – my best friend is a lawyer – and a damn fine one at that.
facebook can get away with this because, among many reasons, it counts on its users not actually taking the time to read through the plethora of agreement for use of facebook. They are correct in assuming that the vast majority of us would never read such a thing and if we tried – become too bored with it to finish. I didn’t even read all of it – just enough to learn that I don’t want to be party to an advertising company without my direct consent and applicable royalties paid. Having used facebook as long as I have I am embarrassed to have not read it, I even read cell phone contracts.
A friend sent a link to an article dealing with the following issue – facebook needs some or most of this permission to be able to host your images and other content and to do so worldwide. This is true, however, if they were not intending to use this same content for their own personal corporate gain (which is now a company traded with foreign investors only) they would state that. It would be a simple addendum to the existing language to say that they will not seek gain by your intellectual property and that they can be held liable if they do – but the language is written specifically so that they can seek all the gain they can sell easily.

or maybe I’m just paranoid.

GO HERE: facebook_sponsored_stories
it feels good to be ahead of the curve on this!

9 Comments to “Facebook”

  1. i deleted my account over a year ago — for different reasons….but it became increasingly uncomfortable to have my information hanging out to be picked over by goodness-knows-what marketing machine. and i'm not normally paranoid that way…it just didn't sit well.

    welcome to the dark side.

    i think maybe i'll have a button made “I don't Facebook”…or something to that effect.

    good on you for actually reading the legal drivel…my Beloved is a paralegal and he reads that stuff for fun — legal writing is an editorial nightmare and i'm fond of telling him he could say the same thing in about 50 less sentences…

  2. This is why I never signed up. Paranoid or not, I don't like someone claiming they have any sort of rights to what I post to their free, for-everyone site.

    Also, I think you make a valid argument about the fact that Facebook uses its users to advertise without their permission. On some websites, I see ads based on sites I've visited (they're often for writing related services–gee, where did they get that idea). This geared advertising irks me but is easy to ignore. But Facebook doesn't track you with deletable cookies. It USES you and your likeness and has the legal right to.

    That's messed up.

    If mel makes the “I don't Facebook” button, I'd use it.

  3. I had never considered this, Jhon. I don't like this at all…


  4. i wondered myself about that too

  5. Hmm… I may not be anything spectacular in the looks or intelligence dept, but I'll be damned if I do want my thoughts or image used for someone else's monetary gain. I have been on FB less and less altely and do beleive the time may have come to pull the plug or resort to posting nonsense which in turn makes me look like a fool.. Either way I stand to lose..
    Thanks for this info Jhon!!

  6. Facebook seems to be making a lot of controversial moves these days. Good on you for reading the T&A so closely.

  7. I too, have been on and off FaceBook, only recently I re-joined, but I'm not planning on staying around long.
    I never read the T&Cs too closely either, and when I photo of myself turned up in a magazine in a Moroccan it caused to end of trouble!
    I would never put my friends or family there….it has none of their business! Why would they want to know my phone number or education? I already know who I am, and so does the people that I stay in contact with on a regular basis.
    Thank you for this post, Jhon. More people should read this!

  8. I hope everyone here has read the newest scheme laid out in the updated link at the bottom of the post.

  9. This post was just forwarded to me by Rabbit because I said I was contemplating using Facebook for my blog. I'm so glad he sent it and I want to thank you for making a lot of legal mumbo jumbo really clear to some of us, especially me. I will not be using it. Thanks again.


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