After much conjecture, discussion and speculation about the Intellectual Property (IP) Terms of Facebook, I finally decided to have a look and see what all the moaning and groaning was about. After all, if I’m going to be posting my images I would like to make sure that they stay mine.
What I discovered was not as bad as I originally thought, and in fact it almost seems fair. Or has it just been left open to changes in the future?
The way I understand it, Facebook is actually a portal to share your IP content and acts as a distribution point and storage facility for all the IP you post there. The terms seem to deal more with granting Facebook a license to share your content as per your privacy settings. There doesn’t seem to be any mention of whether Facebook can actually use anything for own promotion or financial gain.
In doing a little further research I realized that it was originally a lot worse. Here are both the current and previous terms for comparison. You be the judge.
Current ‘Statement of Rights and Responsibilities’ (Revised 28 Aug, 2009)
Sharing Your Content and Information
You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how we share your content through your privacy and application settings. In order for us to use certain types of content and provide you with Facebook, you agree to the following:
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 (except to the extent your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it).
2. When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others).
…and, as it was previously
‘By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing.’
Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities
How to Report Claims of Intellectual Property Infringement
by Daniel Linnet