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    Posted February 17, 2009 by
    san diego, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Growing pains for Twitter, Facebook?

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    Facebook owns all content

    Facebook has changed its TOS (Terms of Service) policy to be able to do anything they want with your content even if you close your account. Facebook can use your name and any content (including words, photos, videos, and audio) for their advertising, books, films, audio, or whatever. This is the Facebook TOS (follow-up) to: http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-215352 Julius Harper (Los Angeles, CA) started the 'People Against the new Terms of Service (TOS) community on facebook. With over 55,000 facebook members and counting - Have organized 3 Big Questions for Facebook to answer:: (email to facebook below) ____________________ To Mr. Zuckerberg and the Facebook Legal Team, After reviewing and categorizing the responses from the protest group members, please see the following 3 major issues that we would like to see addressed, by you, and resolved through modification of Facebook’s Terms of Service: 1. Advertising and Commercial Rights: “If the TOS doesn't mean I give Facebook the rights to use pictures of my family/friends/kids why does it give so many people that impression? Will I wind up seeing pictures of my niece staring at me from a bus stop at some point and be told I shoulda read the fine print?” ~ Rich Griffith “Let's say that 10 years down the road, I become famous. Let's also say that, despite Mark Zuckerberg's well-intentioned promise, a large multinational corporation buys out Facebook…per these new TOS, my likeness, photographs, etc, could then be used, for all eternity, to hock Sony products in any way they want.” ~ Brian (Coast Guard Academy) 2. Bands, Artists, Photographers, Writers, Filmmakers etc: “For a band \ artist \ photographer \ writer \ filmmaker with a page on Facebook, there may be no privacy settings (i.e., everyone can see your page). What stops Facebook from distributing the artistic works posted on Facebook band pages for profit?” ~ Matteo 3. “Share” on Facebook: “Many bloggers submit their blog content to their profiles via RSS or by third party applications - or even using Notes. In many instances, blog content is licensed under Creative Commons, however, it appears that this content would also fall under the terms of service.” ~ Gavin (Australia) “[One could argue] in a credible sounding way that your Terms of … lay claim to content provided on a third party site if that site uses a ‘Share on Facebook’ link. Is this true? If so, how do you intend to remedy it?” ~ Jim (Raleigh / Durham, NC) We are aware that Facebook’s CEO and its other representatives have clarified the company’s intent on the use and ownership of User Content. However, these assurances aside, Mr. Zuckerberg himself has called the legal language in the TOS “overly formal and protective.” Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker has characterized his reply as “the modern version of ‘Ignore the fine print, ma’am, just sign here.’” Regardless of Facebook’s current intent, the legal language in the Terms of Service must be changed in order to address the above issues. As Facebook is a leader in Social Media, doing so well help to set an industry-wide standard for user content use for other online services providers. Consumers cannot be expected to rest on the assurances of the good intentions of companies without having any kind of enforceable legal recourse. As we all know, corporate strategies adjust, CEO’s change, Boards of Directors shuffle and companies get bought out. We’re just looking for some legal assurances in writing that if and when that happens, we won’t be left in the cold. ~ Facebook Users Against the New Terms of Service - 02/16/2009 ___________________________ Julius is waiting on their reply. ____________________________ ::Question to Julius:: Why did you start the People Against the new Terms of Service (TOS) community? ::Julius:: I thought it was ridiculous that Facebook was giving itself eternal legal rights and ownership to anything I put on their service. Even if they don't intend to use those rights, they shoudln't have them. Apparently a lot of people agree. ::Question to Julius:: Do you think Facebook is going to amend the TOS? ::Julius:: Hopefully. One of their representatives has invited us to discuss our questions and concerns, and we've submitted "3 Big Questions for Facebook" to them (you can see this on the group page) and are awaiting their reply. ::Question to Julius:: what about the rights to sub-licensing? ::Julius:: This is a big concern. Even if Facebook doesn't use our material for nefarious purposes, can they vouch for every corporate interest and company that acts on their behalf? No. Which is why the terms must be changed. ::Question to Julius:: Where are you located and what is your profession? ::Julius:: Los Angeles, California I'm a Website Video Game producer ::Question to Julius:: Are you leaving Facebook? ::Julius:: If the terms of use are not changed in a way that's satisfactory to protect the artists, musicians, writers, and everyday regular people, then EVERYONE needs to consider what rights they are signing away by just using the site. Nobody wants to one day look up and find that their son or daugher's face is plastered on a Facebook ad on a side of a bus. Butgiven the current TOSthat could potentially happen. _____________________ Other Facebook user reactions * Bobbi Jo Panciera (Winnipeg, MB) wrote I am livid, as well as millions of others... that is why we have started the page to DELETE facebook March 1st. I have been twittering, and will be posting on several sites. * Natausha Firefly wrote I have removed anything from FB that was never intended to become 'theirs'. As a writer I am sad to see I have one less venue to share my work with people who's opinions I respect. As a mother I am sad that I can not share pictures of my family to my friends here. I am outraged that FB can and will probably get away with it. I am undecided if I will keep my Fb account at this time. I write poetry and I have recently started a book, almost all my work is on another site and is protected by that site, but several pieces had been posted in Notes originally. I have deleted the link to that site that used to be on my main page as well. * Cassi Haggard (Asbury) wrote I need to know if you own my images and have the rights to use my image, even those uploaded under the old TOS. I'm also a photographer and journalist and seriously concerned with this issue. I have 50+ albums on facebook. I will remove them if necessary. How can I protect myself? Also, I'm concerned with the transparency of the TOS changes. I feel that these should be announced and discussed, rather than secretly thrust upon the masses. The secrecy disturbs me. We should know if OUR ownership and rights change before they change so we can make educated choices about uploading images & other original content. * Gavin Heaton (Australia) wrote Many bloggers submit their blog content to their profiles via RSS or by third party applications - or even using Notes. In many instances, blog content is licensed under Creative Commons, however, it appears that this content would also fall under the terms of service. I believe this will be a major issue for many. * Ed Sullivan wrote I simply want all the photographs that I previously uploaded to Facebook permanently removed. I have already deleted them from my profile. * Brian Runion (Coast Guard Academy) wrote Let's say that 10 years down the road, I become famous. Let's also say that, despite Mark Zuckerberg's well-intentioned promise, a large multinational corporation buys out Facebook. For the sake of argument, let's say Sony. Per these new TOS, my likeness, photographs, etc, could then be used, for all eternity, to hock Sony products in any way they want. Even Disney doesn't get to own Mickey Mouse for that long. Why can't there be an additional clause that gives me the right to pull the plug on any misuse of my intellectual property, name, likeness, etc? There are so many ways to get around the "problem" of sharing information from users who delete their accounts with existing members, none of which include Facebook owning us for all eternity. If Mark Zuckerberg is so well-intentioned, then he shouldn't mind giving us a little protection. * Amelia Partridge wrote I love Facebook, I communicate and share photos with friends all over the world on this site because I find it vastly superior to the alternatives, but I have already removed my 63 albums and I will not upload any more until the TOS are changed to protect my rights as a photographer. I would rather pay a monthly usage fee than forfeit my ownership. I am disgusted by this sneaky theft, and I cannot believe Mark Zuckerberg thinks that we should just "trust" that you won't abuse this power. Please change the TOS, so I can use facebook without fear. * Ashley Brunts (Boise, ID) wrote Whenever another site changes there TOS they have a popup the next time you login saying "Hey by the way, we changed our TOS, read it." I never got something like that and I am pissed. Privacy is very important to me due to my line of work and my husband's. In fact my profile is set to as many private settings as I can manage and still have friends see my stuff. I only add people I KNOW for a reason. Now you're telling me all the things I try to keep private for a reason you can go expose even if I terminate my account. HOW ABOUT NOT. I practice OpSec for a reason and I can't believe a social networking site wouldn't at least practice basic OpSec along with PRIVACY ACT. How many of your members are military associated in some way shape or form? And you want to sell that information? To who exactly? Are you effin' kidding me? You are asking for some major bad JuJu, facebook. MAJOR bad JuJu.And you can guarantee that as soon as you change that indefinite rule I will be removing my account and have my husband remove his. * GB Hajim wrote Basically, I cannot in good conscience post pictures of my kids or my artwork on FaceBook if FaceBook can use them for their own uses at all. My company was experimenting with using FaceBook to promote our movie, but I had to pull all the artwork and videos when they changed their TOS. By FaceBook taking the rights to use anyway they want for ever (ie perpetuity), they could possibly limit or even prevent us from acquiring certain distribution deals.We got totally screwed out of ad revenue when iFilm was acquired by Spike TV. They continue to run our videos with ads and we get nothing. They refuse to respond to our requests to remove our videos. What if GE acquired FaceBook? The pictures of your children on FaceBook could end up in their next campaign to dump nuclear waste in your backyard. Seriously, that's how much leeway the TOS gives FaceBook. * Matthieu Vincenot wrote These "catch-all" terms of service are just plain unacceptable... I can't take the risk to have my kids image misused... I owe it to them... I'm not a pedo paranoid, I just don't want their photos being used to illustrate random stuff without my blessing. Full stop. * Christopher Ericksen (Denver, CO) wrote The following is posted on my profile and requires that Facebook respects my legal rights to copyright and fair use. All pictures and original content is governed under the copyright laws of the United States of America and use outside fair use will not be authorized. See notice below.Use of original content to obtain profit without the expressed consent of the owner is a violation of multiple local, state, national and international copyright laws and will not be tolerated. Any use of personal identifiable data is a violation of multiple local, state, national and international laws and is not authorized. Facebook must release all data gathering method and disclose how data is collected, tabulated, used, distributed, stored, sold in accordance with these privacy laws. Notice on Profile: START: Christopher Ericksen retains all copyrights for content created and posted by him. Use of this information without the expressed written / signed consent is prohibited. "Notice to Facebook: Notwithstanding FB's new Terms of Use, any use of my content is always subject to my privacy settings and FB's use terminates upon my termination of my account or removal of my content, whichever is the earlier, unless longer to display my shared content on the accounts of my friends. Facebook does not retain any copyrights to the content within this profile. Should Facebook or I decide to terminate this account, all data must be removed and not used in the future by Facebook, my friends list not withstanding. Any use of personal identifiable data to market, collect, distribute, profit, etc and any use of original works created by Christopher Ericksen without the written consent of Christopher Ericksen is a violation of copyright. Profile permissions and privacy settings authorize the fair use of content." END: * Harriete Estel Berman wrote I do not understand why Facebook seems to need to make the current statement so comprehensive. The purpose of this social networking site is to share images of photos, artwork, articles etc. If you scare people with threatening language that they perceive as taking their copyright, you will dictate you own demise.If Facebook wanted to use images for promotion or publicity, there are probably tons of people that would give permission, but to threaten people is ridiculous. This statement makes me think Facebook is listening to a high priced lawyer rather than the people that participate in Facebook. Go back to the old statement or I will be leaving and recommend the same to everyone I know. This exodus from Facebook will be far more rapid than the growth and expansion of this social networking site. Harriete Estel Berman artist author of the Professional Guidelines for the Arts Community www.harriete-estel-berman.info http://www.harriete-estel-/ berman.info/profguidelines/profguide.html * Ben Haslam (Network Rail) Basically we trusted you to be responsible with our data. Now by making these new terms up all of a sudden, we've got to trust you with our data still, but you reserve the right to break that trust at any time now or in the future, regardless of me being a member of Facebook or not. Way to go. * Jessica Renee Morrison (Kentucky) If these aren't revised, I'm leaving. I have absolutely no problem deleting my account and leaving this website. My boyfriend has already deactivated his account. And I am not an artist nor have I uploaded or placed anything on this website that could put me in legal trouble. But I've posted pictures of me partying with my friends. I've posted my inner thoughts about going through a difficult breakup, my progress in therapy over a year...are you fucking telling me that you could, at any point, use those images and words of mine to promote this site? It doesn't matter that I'm nobody, that I'm not famous and that the possibility of anything like this happening is slim to none. The fact is that I trusted you with my own personal information and set my privacy settings as such, within your own framework, to keep these things only viewable to those who I approved. It's the entire principle of the thing. I got a cold chill when I read the TOS. And I honestly feel like I have been duped and my information has been slowly acquired for commercial purposes. I love this website. It's brought me to so many people and been a great avenue for sharing pictures, thoughts and links with my friends. But if this had been the TOS' wording all along (and yes, I'm one of those weird people that read the TOS), I would NOT have agreed to it and my images would have been linked somewhere holding greater respect for my privacy. * Sarah Lefton (San Francisco, CA) wrote I alerted my page fans (G-dcast) this morning that they need to join my off-site mailing list, as I will no longer be posting or promoting my animation on Facebook. * Mary Anglin wrote I have my profile set on the highest privacy setting for a reason. It seems the new Terms of Service eliminates some of the purpose of having privacy settings at all. I don't want to share my life with the world, only those friends and family whom I choose. So my first reaction was to go and delete my photo albums since those contain photos of my friends and family. I just think it's unfair that Facebook could use their images because I posted them on my page leaving them without a choice in the matter. * Sarah Smith (Boston, MA) wrote As a creative person, I would not be able to - post pictures covered by other persons' copyright (book covers, my own publicity photographs) * post excerpts from my own books * post notes, essays, etc * link to my own Web site, which contains material covered by Creative Commons I've been working on a fan site for Facebook, and I'd love to keep it there, but with those restrictions, there's no point. Can't be good for advertising revenues on Facebook. * Stefan G. Bucher (Los Angeles, CA) wrote I post my "Daily Monsters" drawings and animations on Facebook. I'm used to granting the standard non-exclusive license when my work is reprinted in compilation books etc., and if anything I post on Facebook pops up in one of your commercials... hell... more power to you, and more PR for me. What I find worrying is that Facebook asserts the right to create derivative works (which, I understand, most likely means showing bits of everybody's stuff in an ad, but could be more liberally interpreted), especially when combined with the right to sub-license. That's really where I draw the line: Ix-nay of the erivative-day ork-way and the ub-say-icensing-lay! That goes well beyond the scope of even the nasty entertainment industry boilerplate. * Skip Corbin (IBM) wrote I am necessarily both a proponent of Open access to information and self-copyrighted content. As a personal position I believe that we should have a non-transferable ownership of anything we create, even under TOS of a company such as Facebook employs, yet I also understand from a business perspective how a company should own the rights to the creations of its employees if it is directly related to the job they are being paid to perform. In this case, Facebook is providing a service to people for free and the get their funding from advertisers. I would argue that they have no rights to the creations of its users anymore than Microsoft does the digital images computer graphics professionals creations. Interestingly Facebook is both a tool/platform like Adobe products are as well as a publisher not unlike a traditional publisher. I would suggest in fairness legally to all parties that the fairest solution would be for Facebook to be required to pay royalties, to be negotiated with the creator of content, to said creator if an when they should EVER try to reuse that content for the purpose of generating income. Not unlike the traditional Publisher/writer model. Only here we have publication before negotiation and as such the legal system will have fun trying to be fair to all parties. * Jeff Abbott (Austin, TX) wrote I'm a professional writer of thriller novels who joined FB to connect with readers and with old friends. I have a personal profile and a reader Page. I'm very dismayed at the idea that any of the author photos or book covers could be considered to fall under a Facebook license that survives even if I delete my account. I can only imagine my publisher or the photographer getting into a licensing tussle with Facebook over that. And as a writer I wouldn't now feel comfortable posting a book excerpt onto Facebook. Even if this kind of usage/license is not what Facebook means, it's what it says in the revised language. Hence the concern. I am evaluating whether or not to stay on FB. So is my wife, who uses it purely for staying in touch with other moms. I think the other side of the outrage is the way in which Facebook handled it; there was no notification to users, no real attempt to explain their position.
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