Copyright and Facebook


Did a friend(s) re-post a bit of text about reclaiming copyright to anything posted on Facebook because the site changed its terms of use? Yeah, that. Inevitably there’s the backlash, as others post the corrective debunking.

It uses lots of big, legal-sounding words and cites things like the Rome Statute, UCC Section 1-308, and the “Berner Convention” (presumably a misspelling of the Berne Convention), but that doesn’t give it any more legitimacy than it had the last time it made the rounds, in June. Here’s Snopes.com with more:

Facebook users cannot retroactively negate any of the privacy or copyright terms they agreed to when they signed up for their Facebook accounts nor can they unilaterally alter or contradict any new privacy or copyright terms instituted by Facebook simply by posting a contrary legal notice on their Facebook walls.

And from Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities: “[Y]ou retain the copyright to your content. When you upload your content, you grant us a license to use and display that content.”

The whole thing sounded off to me, but some of the people posting it were major artists whose feeds I follow, lending it an extra layer of plausibility. It’s not as though there have not been concerns over Facebook’s claims to material posted by users. But how do we know what’s real and what’s bogus online? Sites like Snopes.com provide some level of fact checking, but they do not address every myth running around online.
To get a stronger sense of the layout, what you can lose (in terms of rights) and what you can use, here are some titles in the stacks.


Artists, technology & the ownership of creative content : creative control in the digital age : scenarios for the future – KF3024.C6 A97 2003


Permissions, a survival guide : blunt talk about art as intellectual property / Susan M. Bielstein – KF3050 .B54 2006


The Public domain : how to find & use copyright-free writings, music, art & more / by Stephen Fishman. – KF3022.Z9 F57 2006


Remix : making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy / Lawrence Lessig. – KF3020 .L47 2009


The anarchist in the library : how the clash between freedom and control is hacking the real world and crashing the system / Siva Vaidhyanathan – T58.5 .V35 2005


Image ethics in the digital age / Larry Gross, John Stuart Katz, and Jay Ruby, editors – PN6728.P54 S68 2001

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s