Sorry, But That Facebook Copyright Message is Bogus

Posted by · November 26, 2012 11:00 am

In addition to seeing comments about Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and, of course, the obligatory “Go *insert football team here*!” and “Look how cute my kids are!” posts on your Facebook feed this weekend, you might have also noticed that people were posting a long message about Facebook copyright guidelines to their wall.  The message—which is still being circulated today by the same Facebook users who posted this bogus “privacy notice” back in June—goes something like this:

In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, graphics, comics, paintings, photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!

(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook
Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws. By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).

Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates…

Some people seem to think that now that Facebook is a publicly traded company, their privacy is in even more jeopardy than it was before and by posting the message above to their wall they can protect their personal posts and data from being used or copied without their authorization.  Those people are wrong.  Facebook’s status as a public company affects user privacy about as much as Facebook cares that you just posted a message about your privacy to your Facebook wall.  READ: NOT AT ALL.

Sorry, folks, but you’re still subject to the Terms of Service you agreed to when you signed up for Facebook.  Here’s what those have to say about copyright and privacy in case you forgot:

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.

The bottom line: if you don’t want Facebook—or people you are friends with on Facebook—to see, use or repost the content you share on your Facebook profile, stop sharing that content or delete your Facebook profile altogether.