New Facebook Terms of Service: All Your Content Are Belong to Us – Forever!

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Facebook (FB) has recently updated their Terms of Service (TOS), and among the new changes is this dandy: once you post something to Facebook you can’t take it back. Meaning that even if you close your account, by using Face book you have granted them a perpetual, eternal license to do whatever they want with your content.

This includes storing it, republishing it, and even creating something new out of it! And, even sublicensing it – meaning that they can earn money off your content, and you can’t do anything about it (like demand a cut).

Here is the new language – don’t let the legalese scare you – anybody should be able to see the italicized and bolded language (italics and bolding added by us for ease of reading) and realize that there is something to be worried about):

“You are solely responsible for the User Content that you Post on or through the Facebook Service. 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. You represent and warrant that you have all rights and permissions to grant the foregoing licenses.”

Thoughts? Will this stop you from using Facebook?

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6 thoughts on “New Facebook Terms of Service: All Your Content Are Belong to Us – Forever!

  1. Wendy, you are certainly correct that anything we post in a public way can be downloaded by anyone and used anyway they wish no matter what the law says. But In this case, we are not talking about those people. We are talking about the people with whom we have a business relationship outlined in a contract. That is between each of us users of facebook and facebook. They are not random or hidden or anonymous and they have a defined service. The scenario I paint is where I make a photo available only to my family in facebook and then at a later date, FB uses that photo outside of that framework. They may never do this. But their terms of service give them the right to do so.

  2. I quite agree that this is a bad thing all the way around, Rob, but I’m just pointing out that the ability for people to do this anyways, even absent the new TOS, already exists, even if it’s just disgruntled employees misbehaving. Whether there’s a contract or not, my point is merely that people *do* already do whatever they want with content they come across, however they find it.


  3. Whether it is a change or clarification, the terms of service are now clear to me. My concern, is not about the height of my horse. Although, I can clearly see that the height is something that matters to you. I have no issues with them doing backups. However, I do have issues with them (Facebook and associated App companies) using my content in a way that is not consistent with the direct service I’m using. So for example, should I use the photo app to share photos with people only in my network and at a later time cancel my account, I would except that such content would also be removed from the site. I would also expect that they would not use my photos in ads or any other purpose to which I had intended with their service. Their terms of service allow them to go beyond that. Now for good business reasons they may not exercise those rights. However, one cannot rely on hope. So *I* will act prudently and so will my horse.

  4. This is certainly going to keep *me* from posting much anything I care about on Facebook – like my portfolio! This kind of TOS has been nearly the death of at least one other online service, too, so we shall see what we shall see about how it will play out.

    It’s insane for a company to claim they still have rights to your work even if you leave, or to claim rights to create derivative works at any time. I can’t think of anything more chilling to creative types, and better designed to foil people from posting a whole lot of otherwise potentially interesting content.

    On the other hand, even without such TOS, the reality of the online world is that we should all expect *everything* we post *anywhere* to be seen way beyond where we think it will be, and that others *will* use it for their own purposes, with or without our consent. Because in reality, it’s happening all the time, whether we know it or not – or at least the possibility certainly exists. If you don’t want to see it in the morning paper, or posted elsewhere, or on someone else’s t-shirt, don’t send it out into the ether in any format whatsoever, even “private” email. There is *no* privacy online, and anyone who seriously expects it is deluding themselves. Not that we shouldn’t still try to protect copyrights and privacy, just that I think it’s not all that realistic to expect.

    In other words, if you’re not willing to give your content away, consider never posting it publicly anywhere.

    Wendy Hoechstetter

  5. If you read the terms of service carefully, there is no real change. What they are saying is, if you delete your account, the things you posted on other peoples’ accounts will not automatically disappear. And your stuff will also remain forever, nothing new here, on the back-up of the site. Now climb down off your high horse and find something real to complain about.

  6. It will not stop me from using FB. However, as I prefer to control my content like family photos and such it is unlikely I will post any new photos or new content. I mean I would not want my own content to compete against me without my permission. I do not want my content to be used in ways without my consent. For example, I have a picture of myself at 4 years old on FB. I’ve already had to deal with pedophiles concerning that photo. I have no idea how FB would use such a photo. But it is clear to me that such a provision will have a chilling effect as incidents occur and people become aware of the repercussions of loosing control of their content.

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