Facebook Copyright Hoax

Just because I am tired of seeing it, let me address the Facebook copyright hoax. This gem shows up every now and again. People paste this missive about how they still own their copyright. Listen, you don’t need to tell anyone this. You still own your copyright.

Copyright works like this. You put something down, you have ownership rights.  It doesn’t require a statement of some kind. However, by posting on Facebook, you give Facebook the right to share and use your stuff. That is pretty fundamental to how social media works. Check out Snopes for details.

Facebook also posted a response to this issue. It states:

“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.”

Facebook actually didn’t change its copyright policy recently. It did change its data use policy though. And that changed policy definitely gives Facebook a lot of rights in terms of what it can do with your content. Regardless of this, it doesn’t matter, you cannot alter Facebook’s right to use your stuff commercially by posting something in your status update. By using Facebook, you agree to its terms of service. And its terms of service give it the right to use what you post.  Another good explanation is on Wired.

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