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That Facebook Copyright Notice Is Worthless

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There's a copyright notice people have been posting on Facebook over the past couple of days similar to privacy notice that made the rounds several months ago. Before you copy paste it on your own profile, stop. It's bogus and unenforceable.


Here's the full text of the waning post:

In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, graphics, comics, paintings, photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!

(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook
Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws. By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook's direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).

Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates…


Good thing you cited the Berner (sic) Convention. Now you're definitely protected. Really though, you signed up for Facebook and anything you post on Facebook is basically well, Facebook's. You've agreed to the terms of service, and have been asked to continually agree to them as they've changed and evolved. Here's what Facebook officially says about the matter, from its Terms of Service:

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 privacyand 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.

So if you don't like it, don't use Facebook. Or delete the things you don't want Facebook's grubby little mits all over. And definitely don't fall for this "copyright notice."

Update: Facebook issued a statement confirming what we already knew—that "copyright notice" is meaningless:

There is a rumor circulating that Facebook is making a change related to ownership of users' information or the content they post to the site. This is false. Anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post, as stated in our terms. They control how that content and information is shared. That is our policy, and it always has been.


[Mashable, Snopes]