If you’re a Facebook user you recently received an e-mail from them with the subject “News from Facebook”. I received it August 31. The news discusses changes Facebook is making to their Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Usually I skip over that stuff but decided to read it this time. There are the two things that bother me.
First, in the Proposed Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, section 2, item 1 states
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.
As a photographer who spends countless hours finding and shooting photos and additional time processing and publishing them, I’m simply not willing to allow Facebook, or any other business, to have a royalty-free, worldwide license to use my photos as they wish. Photographers beware, if you’re posting photos to Facebook you still own the property rights but Facebook is allowed to use your photos however they like, including sub-licensing your photos to other entities.
The second thing that concerns me is in section 10, item 1 of the same document, it states
You give us permission to use your name, profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us. This means, for example, that you permit a business or other entity to pay us to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information, without any compensation to you.
Once again, users beware. By creating a Facebook account you are granting them the ability to use your name, profile picture and other information in advertising. This clause alone is making me consider completely deleting my Facebook account.
I understand Facebook is for-profit business. As such they need to make money and I don’t have a problem with that. I do have a problem with them using my intellectual property and my name and likeness in their advertising.
I’ll probably wait a few days to decide whether I want to completely delete my Facebook account but effectively immediately I will no longer be publicly posting photographs to Facebook.
If you enjoy my photos on Facebook and would like to continue seeing them, please visit my blog at dougcouvillion.wordpress.com. In the lower right corner of the blog you will see a “Follow” button. By click it you can sign up to get e-mail updates of my blog posts.
October 9th, 2013 at 10:37 am
Thanks for the info! That comes in very useful although I don’t have Facebook I won’t be encouraged to do it in the near future 🙂
September 12th, 2013 at 1:15 am
You have given me a great deal to think about! We live in a complex world where privacy and intellectual property is at risk!
August 31st, 2013 at 7:07 pm
I perfectly understand your feelings on this issue. The terms that Facebook is imposing are absurd, but are becoming almost the norm in many sites. Unfortunately there are many people who don’t mind the abuse, and even find it flatering to have their photos used somewhere, without compensation or even a simple credit line. The value of photography is becoming less and less every day.
September 1st, 2013 at 3:22 am
Thanks for your comments. A few people have pointed out to me that as long as you only share your photos with your friends on Facebook they won’t be used in advertising. I’m not sure that’s correct but clearly if you’re publicly sharing them they are up for grabs.
August 31st, 2013 at 8:53 am
I have my name plastered across my photos in watermark, and I don’t have any photos of me, or say what brands I like. Although it does give me pause and make me think about shutting my two photographic pages down
September 1st, 2013 at 3:20 am
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this issue.
September 1st, 2013 at 5:41 am
You’re welcome Doug