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.
What Facebook is claiming is that they have to have a license for users to share content with each other, and the terms allows the content to continue to be shared with other users even after an account has been deleted (e.g. a message or a wall post that was posted on a friend’s page will still exist should you leave FB). However, when you read some of the commentary on the issue, it really translates to Facebook wanting to be able to use the content in the future for marketing, revenue, advertising or whatever else they choose to use the content for. Here are some hypothetical scenarios that I and others have suggested:
- What if a user becomes famous? What does FB do with the content of that person who content on their site? This would include bands who have pages as well. Does FB have ownership of that content?
- What if a user is caught up in an alleged crime? Does FB have the ownership to use and sell the content of that user to the media, and/or to those involved in the case?
- What about the protection of those under the age of 18? Does FB now have the authority to post pictures of my kids to whomever they choose?
- Why can other similar companies function without the ownership of content (e.g. Myspace, Linked-In, Yahoo, Twitter, Youtube). Another blogger has already posted information about this, check it out HERE
I’m usually not one to be a loud voice when it comes to protesting human rights issues (although I will support a good cause), but I’m ticked at Facebook over this issue. I find it arrogant on their part to push the envelope on this issue simply because of their size and their motives. As one expert explained, “the future of the web will change based on this decision”. Facebook is paving the way for other companies to follow suit to owning content that is posted on the web.
My biggest issue is that I have been a strong advocate of Facebook to many families over the last few years. When parents have asked me if Facebook is safe for their kids, I have put my word on the line to assure them that they were a reputable site, and they would have high standards in terms of identity protection, content, etc.) After this stunt I will be telling parents that Facebook has now failed the safety and protection of all users in order to simply make more money.
I have deleted all of my content on FB (pictures, notes, etc.) and will post very little in the future on Facebook in the future. Facebook has changed back to their old terms temporarily while they figure out a reasonable solution. Even if they were “rewrite” the terms to sound a little better, Facebook has lost my trust, and it will be very difficult to get it back, if at all.
Here are some helpful links to this issue:
Here is a interview on FoxNews.