DownsideUpDesign

Musings of an Aussie design strategist gone North

Facebook owns your soul (and your photos too)

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The more I read, the stronger my fears grow. Call me paranoid, but the latest storm brewing in Facebook land had the hairs on the back of my neck dancing a merry jig.

Two weeks ago Facebook made a change to its terms and conditions regarding ownership of posted content. As far as I can glean, the new conditions stated that Facebook becomes the owner of all uploaded personal content (photos, videos, comments, notes and the like) and this ownership continues should I decide to delete my account. So even if I wanted to opt out, I couldn’t.

I say couldn’t because upon logging in this morning there was a message stating “…we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised.” Damn straight you’ll resolve them. Whether it’s for our benefit remains to be seen. Here is the paragraph at the centre of the furore:

 

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. 

 

What’s most galling is that these changes were introduced on the sly. I challenge any of my readers to have noticed this transfer of ownership being communicated through Facebook itself.

I’ll admit that have been a willing participant in the Facebook phenomenon. My patience is being sorely tested, however, as the broader implications of my online presence become more obvious. Put it down to the benefit of 20:20 hindsight. If I lose ownership of my content it will be the last straw.

 The problem is, as a person who deals in new cultural trends and observing society’s reaction to the world at large, if I lock myself out I lose this valuable stream of information. As with so many of my generation, I want to have my cake and eat it too…

Play safe people and make sure you go through your Facebook security settings and lock it down. Apparently it’s the only way you have of clinging on to your data.

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Filed under: Photography, Social Media, Things I Hate, Web, , , ,

2 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    the fact that Facebook change their TOS back so quickly is like an admission that they knew they were wrong

  2. drewpasmith says:

    Yeah, they clearly underestimated the reaction they got, but they’ve gone on the offensive since trying to justify it on the basis of satisfying a an image rights issue…

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© Andrew Philip Artois Smith and DownsideUpDesign, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Andrew/Drew Smith and DownsideUpDesign with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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