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Facebook, ToS, recap [Feb. 17th, 2009|11:59 am]

If you haven’t already heard, Facebook just changed its Terms of Service, and not in your favor. To recap and review:

My reaction: I sure hope FB changes its mind and comes more back in line with common practice.  These days no one reads the ToS any more than they read the EULA, and although legally millions of people have just given up ownership rights, they don’t know it, probably won’t know it, and will probably be very peeved when (if, I suppose)  FB starts doing things with their info.  I’m not sure why FB went this far with the ToS, but it has to either be for legal protection or for further data mining and potential new streams of revenue.

Originally published at lebor.net. You can comment here or there.


[User Picture]From: roguesylph
2009-02-17 04:18 pm (UTC)
I've read a bit about this here and there, but the feeling I got was that Facebook hasn't recently changed anything except the duration of their hold on your information. Based on the changes to the legalese, it looks like they have been claiming for a long while to have full rights to do anything they want with anything you put on facebook, they've just updated the wording to allow them to continue doing that even if you delete your account.

It certainly isn't a ToS that I'm fond of, but I'm sort of bemused by the outrage. I think people are mostly upset because they hadn't realized they'd signed away all of this data to begin with, and it's less about the most recent updates and more about a large number of people suddenly realizing exactly what all that fine print meant.

My guess is data mining. I imagine they're building up some pretty huge databases of information that they can use for targeting advertising and selling to other interested parties, and they want to be able to sell it as a static package of data (so that they can continually sell updated versions) without having to worry about updating it every time they lose a user.
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[User Picture]From: benndragon
2009-02-17 05:37 pm (UTC)
I think this <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/02/17/facebook.terms.service/>CNN-via-Cnet report</a> includes them.
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[User Picture]From: lordameth
2009-02-17 06:39 pm (UTC)
Booo. Should I delete all my photos? They're up on Flickr, so they're implicitly Creative Commons or something, but I just don't like the feeling of a single particular corporation owning my photos and doing what they want with them even if I've given implicit permission to anyone and everyone.
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[User Picture]From: laurion
2009-02-17 06:46 pm (UTC)
At this point it doesn't matter. They have your photos. That said, the initial Creative Commons license should remain in effect, although it hasn't yet been legally tested in a case like this. Neither the CC license nor the FB ToS prevents you from using your photos in any way you like, so you can continue to offer the photos with the CC license. What I'm not sure of is if that also means you have the right to implicitly sign away your photos in a ToS change like that. IANAL, but I'd love to see some critical examination of this conflict (or non-conflict depending on how the laws go.) Sadly, I suspect that they have not violated the CC because you agreed to the ToS which effectively means you've given them a separately arranged contract and the CC no longer applies for their purposes.
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[User Picture]From: roguesylph
2009-02-17 07:03 pm (UTC)
I wonder if there's a difference between photos that one uploads directly to Facebook that are also hosted on Flickr, and photos that are streamed to facebook using the Flickr apps. If I understand correctly, the stuff being streamed through my Flickr app doesn't actually live on the the Facebook servers, so is it safe from their ToS?
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[User Picture]From: laurion
2009-02-17 07:19 pm (UTC)
I don't know. It might depend on how FB handles things. If they're making a copy and hosting it themselves (as I would imagine they must, rather than rely on Flickr to be up and not changing things), then the images might be subject to the ToS. I don't have FB and flickr hooked up, so I never read the fine print issued when you connect the two services.
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