Monday, February 16, 2009

Facebook Users- YOU Have Given Away the Eternal Rights to All of Your Content!

Facebook has gone beyond the brink! Long gone are the days when you had to have a .edu email address, and Facebook was just a friendly networking site for college students. Now everyone from teenyboppers to grandmas have an account on this social media giant. As the site owners realized the money making potential by opening the app development tools to the world and adding advertisements up and down the sides, original Facebook fans who were fans of the college focus and the ad-free feel were disappointed by the sell-out. But as posted on The Consumerist, Facebook has changed their Terms of Service (TOS) so they have ETERNAL USAGE RIGHTS OF ALL CONTENT.

Chris Walters from The Consumerist states:

Now, anything you upload to Facebook can be used by Facebook in any way they deem fit, forever, no matter what you do later. Want to close your account? Good for you, but Facebook still has the right to do whatever it wants with your old content.

So SCARY! =0

Has Facebook become so consumed with power and greed that they have completely lost sight of their initial mission? They claim in their company overview on their About Page:
Facebook gives people the power to share and makes the world more open and connected.

The real question here is why? Why does Facebook want a copy of everyone's photo's and posts etc... other than future financial gain? It seems like a devious plot to sell the photos of people if they ever gain fame some day. Next week when joe schmoe makes it in to the news for getting a date with Lindsay Lohan or for breaking into 7-11... the people behind Facebook can now go into his account (because they have access to all accounts and even if you shut it down they still own your content!) and they can pull out the most embarrassing pictures or whichever ones support the story the newspaper is running and they can SELL IT TO THE NEWS WIRES.

I am just speculating. But it seems very possible that this it what this type of language in the TOS could be for. It seems completely against all copyright law to "use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising". For example, if I take a picture of myself and friend and upload it I own the copyright. If Facebook used it in an Advertisement without my permission they will be infringing on Copyright law. If Facebook ever tries to use someones pictures without their consent even with this new TOS that person would have a good case namely because no one consented to this new TOS and it goes against copyright laws!

How are people supposed to trust a company that claims a 'right' to use all of your content (writing, pictures, videos, etc) in ANY WAY, FOR ANY PURPOSE? They can sell your images for profit, use you profile pictures for advertising purposes, sell any written articles or content you have uploaded... the possibilities seem endless with such a broadly worded TOS.

The new Facebook has grown into the largest social networking site on web, bar none. The plethora of new apps has spawned a range of amusing, useful, useless, creative, and hilarious apps that allow Facebookers to connect with each other and the outside world. People upload pictures and write posts on each other's 'walls' (bulletin boards) on a weekly or even daily basis. We all need to be aware of the content we upload to the web, aware that the whole world can see it. But normally you have the power to remove content you think outdated or decide against later (perhaps an image uploaded at a time of impaired judgment or if in time your opinion changes and a post you wrote you no longer fully support). But this is the first time that I know of that a company has basically sanctioned stealing your uploaded material... forever and for their possible financial gain. Facebookers beware.


Julong February 27, 2009 at 10:20 PM  

Hi,i like facebook that useful for connect people around the world by social net working.

zunnur February 28, 2009 at 8:58 PM  

Thanks for sharing this important piece of information. I'm sure a lot of people out there aren't aware about it.

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