Facebook Does Provide Methods to Protect Your Copyright Material, But..

by on November 26, 2012

in consumer

Facebook Copyright “Hoax”

OK gang, hoax or misconstrued hopes, I am chiming in on the copyright/infringement issues where Facebook users are posting comments to their own feeds about the website’s limitations on “your own content.” I chimed in on this a few days just before this entire thing went hoax/viral.

First off, I completely understand how you feel and why you might want to take a stab at trying to control the information in your posts… your words, your pictures and other aspects of your online social interactions.

I get it.


The website (Facebook or any other social site) you use puts down some roots and restrictions or agreed upon understandings on the use of their website. (Yes, you did. You probably glazed over or skipped the lengthy, detailed rules of usage.) It’s their website that you are using for free. That “free” involves access to whatever information you give them. And you’d be surprised how much that content is worth to the site.

For example, when you play games, you give them certain permissions to access some information in your profile. And profiles of your friends. They then take that info and parlay it via focused content marketing into sales. That’s how one of the game makers on FB has made its billions.

But then there’s this thing on the website governance and usage policies, where they’ve updated the policies for users.


You can only agree to usage of a site and not force the website to bow to your own timeline comments. That is akin to you writing a note on your credit card bill, stating you won’t be paying interest rates any more. It’s sort of something you agreed to abide by. Sorry.

But the update to the site policies has some interesting policy points.

They make note that you own all of your content in the wording.

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings.

That “sharing” thing is the critical aspect of this situation that folks might be concerned about. But then they make the following stipulations on your content:

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.

In other words, if you put something on FB, you give them the right to “broadcast” it all over the place. But this should not be a surprise. You are publicly blasting this content onto the web, period! Anything you post anywhere on the web, should be presumed to be public fodder and “in the wind,” so to speak.

But then Facebook also makes a point about how you can protect your intellectual property content if you need to go that far:

We provide you with tools to help you protect your intellectual property rights. To learn more, visit our How to Report Claims of Intellectual Property Infringement page. [facebook.com/legal]

So this copyright concern is interesting and the important thing to keep in mind today, is that these are proposed changes to the policies that will be taking effect sometime soon. So they’ve heard you to some degree. Or at least that’s my take on it.

In Closing…

You can’t control restrictions to your content in a comment of your own timeline. I don’t get how you can get tricked into that one. You have to look at your own account settings and privacy controls and take action via those control venues.

Have fun gang!


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