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Archive for February, 2009

Facebook’s New ToS: Yes We Do Own Your Content

share on facebookOn February 4 Facebook revised their Terms of Service, removing a clause stating that user content would no longer be under license to Facebook.

UPDATE: Facebook did an about face and reverted to its previous ToS per a blog post on feb 17.

Well, now the terms indicate that anything you ever upload or share to your facebook profile — regardless of whether your account is active — is Facebook’s property to do whatever they want with. The language is similar but leaves less room for question. There are no longer references to “archived” content — but it’s debatable whether this is Facebook being more open about their intent or just being downright insulting and mischievous.

Did anyone receive notification to review the new Terms of Service before someone finally stumbled upon it — an outrageous 11 days after the fact? What if major publishers decide to boycott by removing “share on facebook” links? That’s not happening, not with the increasing traffic these blogs/sites receive via Facebook referrals.

This is the Internet, folks, and this is nothing new and hardly a surprise from Facebook — it was only a matter of time that they reworded the terms of content ownership (check out my previous posts on Facebook privacy here, here, and here).

If you’re someone who openly shares details and content on the Internet (as I do), you’re only fooling yourself if you believe said content cannot be “stolen” or used against you. Think you’re pre-February 4th content is protected (if you have since deleted your Facebook profile? Not likely. Facebook is the model for a walled garden online network. Now we’ll see how far they go with their power to abuse, sell, sublicense and manipulate user data and content.

The key passages of the ToS are below (new ToS / old ToS)

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