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Facebook and Intellectual Property Rights


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#1 Jean Oram

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:04 PM

Sooo... I was reading Facebook Intellectual Property rights (see quoted material below) after reading somewhere that they have the right to use any photos anywhere, anytime that their users have uploaded on their profiles. No permission required, no compensation given, etc.

That got me wondering... what about written content? And so I found their policy on intellectual property rights. It pretty much sounds like they can use anything I post on Facebook (unless I've set the post to private I am assuming). Since I have been posting the odd thing that I may one day publish... this could get interesting. (On the "page" (not profile) that I have you can't set posts to private meaning all posts would get tossed in Facebook's filing cabinet of goodies.)

Anyway, in the future I will be careful in a whole new way on Facebook (darn that Facebook!).

I thought I would share this with you folks too, in case I am in need of correction--or if I am correct, to give you a bit of warning.

Cheerio, darlings!

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.


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#2 Clippership

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:24 PM

Not surprised. Good to know. Thanks, Jean!

#3 Tom Preece

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:24 PM

I think I would find it very interesting if this ever got tested in court, but as a very long time network user I am perhaps far more cautious than most. If I post a picture, I don't care if it's shared. I try to say nothing that can be misconstrued. It happens that I live in a politically diverse group of friends so anything I say about politics I must feel completely ready to defend.

The network is the enemy of intellectual property. Indeed the tools of it are at war about that. Apple and Microsoft defending private ownership, Linux promoting GNU licenses. It pays to be very cautious.

#4 Rick Spilman

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 07:13 PM

Facebook doesn't appear to be the only social media site grabbing rights. Pinterest seems even more greedy than Facebook:

By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.

Emphasis added.

#5 Robin Breyer

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 02:50 AM

So if you put up copyright protected images that you don't have the proper rights to, how does that work. You have to have the rights to the image for that statement to have any legal meaning. We writers, generating original content, should be careful because that would give them the right to use, free of charge, anything we create, but they can't take rights their users don't possess.

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#6 Jean Oram

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 10:52 AM

I think Pinterest just changed that "sell" part as they say--we never intended to sell.

And Robin--EXACTLY!!!

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#7 Jennie

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:19 PM

Interestingly, Google + does NOT take your intellectual property rights. Anything you share through that site remains yours and yours alone.

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#8 Robin Breyer

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:35 PM

Google started out just in the search business. They have a different perspective from having dealt with millions of pages and images over the years.

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#9 Rick Spilman

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 02:50 PM

What is disturbing about Google is that they do not claim your property rights. They do however claim you and all your interests, habits and desires as their property so that the can more effectively sell tailor advertising to you. In a sense, all your information becomes their property.

#10 Robin Breyer

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 03:54 PM

Rick, they are after the record of your actions, not your copyrightable creations. That record is gold in the information age.

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#11 Cat Woods

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:42 PM

So, because I'm ignorant here: can a link I share fall under that umbrella of rights? In other words, I've linked my blog to my FB page. When I post something new on Words from the Woods, the first few lines pop up on FB.

Just asking...

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#12 Jean Oram

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:28 AM

Yes, anything that is posted on Facebook (in my understanding) is then theirs to use in advertising or whatnot. So the first few lines of your blog that appear on Facebook is theirs to do what they want with it. The odds of them using it is very slim, but it is something to be aware of.

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#13 Robin Breyer

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:39 AM

It basically gives them the right to use screen captures of anyone's account in their advertising. It does make sense from that point of view, but the way they word it sounds very all encompassing and total and that they intend to steal and keep everything for themselves. That's been in place for quite a while and that don't use much from the millions of people on FB. I'm not too worried, as long as they keep using it so sparingly, the wording is more CYA than an overt ownership claim, so I have no problem with it.

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#14 Cat Woods

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:04 AM

Too funny. Now I imagine all the ridiculous things I've said over the past few months that I've streamed my blog to FB and have to laugh. I suppose they can have it with my blessing.

*heads over to FB to see what I'm giving up*

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#15 Tom Preece

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 12:11 PM

Imagine the uproar if they used it that way? My Facebook profile had pretty photo of me taken by a friend while I was engrossed in conversation with another. I admit I looked pretty good. I then got a FB message from someone who described himself as wanting my permission to use my picture for a "client" and reimburse me for the picture.

Well let's see. I didn't take the picture. Paul did. He had posted it on FB originally so FB "owned" it. I didn't really want to start a conversation on the Internet with someone I didn't know about money transfers so I ignored it. Its hard to "own" anything on the network without some version of encryption.

#16 Jean Oram

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:44 AM

I don't think FB gets the ownership rights for things posted on their site, just the rights to use it however they want. So your pretty little face could be on the main FB page or in FB's presentations to shareholders, etc., without compensation or permission asked--that sort of thing. At least that's my understanding.

I love connecting with and helping other AQCers outside this forum as well. You can find me all over the place!

If you are looking for more about writing, you may find my blog helpful, as well as my Twitter feed:

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If you are a parent, you might be interested in my ideas on growing happy, healthy kids who'll thrive in this ever changing world (includes crafts, activities, games, articles, and fun!):
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#17 Robin Breyer

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 12:54 PM

Jean, that is the meaning I take from it. Though I just witnessed an author I like just close their Facebook account because they disliked this policy and the new Timeline. He did not have nice things to say.

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