Facebook can do anything they want with your content?
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
February 17, 2009
There has been a big hub-bub recently when the popular social networking website "Facebook" quietly made an extremely significant change to their terms of service on February 4th. Anyone who signs up as a member to the site has to sign an agreement that grants Facebook a license to use content "on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof." Controversy quickly arose when the revised agreement eliminated language saying the license would "automatically expire" if the content is removed from the site. Some called the new policy: "We Can Do Anything We Want With Your Content. Forever." Facebook management downplayed the new use agreement modification as more of a legal wording change needed for their protection as they store member data.
Below is the old agreement section for "User Content Posted on the Site" which contains the expiration wording that has caused the controversy (highlighted in bold by Pinedale Online):
"When you post User Content to the Site, you authorize and direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content on the Site. By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content. Facebook does not assert any ownership over your User Content; rather, as between us and you, subject to the rights granted to us in these Terms, you retain full ownership of all of your User Content and any intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights associated with your User Content."
You acknowledge and agree that any questions, comments, suggestions, ideas, feedback or other information that you provide to Facebook ("Submissions"), are non-confidential and non-proprietary. Facebook will be entitled to the unrestricted use of any such Submission for any purpose, commercial or otherwise, without acknowledgment or compensation to you."
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