Friday, April 17, 2009

Facebook change AGAIN

Facebook, it seems to be all IP Freely writes about these days. But having logged onto his account this morning he noticed a rather interesting new application allowing him (and other users of course) to vote for the sites "governance" documents (EULA and privacy policy to you and me).

IP Freely has previously identified a number of widely known issues with Facebook's EULA and controversy surrounding their proposal to change it. Anyway here's the clauses of the proposed EULA that interests IP Freely:

2. Sharing Your Content and Information

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how we share your content through your privacy and application settings. In order for us to use certain types of content and provide you with Facebook, you agree to the following:

2.1 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 (except to the extent your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it).
2.2 When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others).
2.3 We always appreciate your feedback or other suggestions about Facebook, but you understand that we may use them without any obligation to compensate you for them (just as you have no obligation to offer them).

5. Protecting Other People’s Rights

We respect other people’s rights, and expect you to do the same.

5.1 You will not post content or take any action on Facebook that infringes someone else’s rights or otherwise violates the law.
5.2 We can remove any content you post on Facebook if we believe that it violates this Statement.
5.3 We will 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.
5.4 If we removed your content for infringing someone else’s copyright, and you believe we removed it by mistake, we will provide you with an opportunity to appeal.
5.5 If you repeatedly infringe other people’s intellectual property rights, we will disable your account when appropriate.
5.6 You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Wall and 32665) without our written permission.
5.7 If you collect information from users, you will: obtain their consent, make it clear you (and not Facebook) are the one collecting their information, and post a privacy policy explaining what information you collect and how you will use it.
5.8 You will not post anyone’s identification documents or sensitive financial information on Facebook.

IP Freely particularly likes their "Amendments" clause:

12. Amendments

12.1 We can change this Statement so long as we provide you notice through Facebook (unless you opt-out of such notice) and an opportunity to comment.
12.2 For changes to sections 7, 8, 9, and 11 (sections relating to payments, application developers, website operators, and advertisers), we will give you a minimum of three days notice. For all other changes we will give you a minimum of seven days notice.
12.3 If more than 7,000 users comment on the proposed change, we will also give you the opportunity to participate in a vote in which you will be provided alternatives. The vote shall be binding on us if more than 30% of all active registered users as of the date of the notice vote.
12.4 We can make changes for legal or administrative reasons upon notice without opportunity to comment.


  1. Could you help me find where clause 2.1 may be activated? I'm a professional photographer whose client wishes to post photos to facebook. I'm trying to find it through the privacy settings, but it's very vague.

  2. Hi Lindsay,

    It is "activated" as soon as the photo is uploaded i.e. is posted. Depending on the agreement in place between you and your client you may well retain the rights in the photo, by uploading it onto Facebook then your client would be in breach of clause 5 of Facebook's terms. Not to mention in liable to yourself for copyright infringement.

  3. Hi - I realise this is a late comment.

    By clause 2.1, does posting a link on Facebook to a photo on Flickr give 'em (Facebook) the right to that photograph, as if it had been posted directly on to Facebook?

    "[A]ny IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook" ... it's that 'or in connection with' that's slippery.

  4. this is why Ill NEVER use facebook .

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  6. there is many changes in facebook that it becomes to irritating to use. grrrrrr

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