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There is a privacy notice that seems to surface from time to time on Facebook, usually when a new security update is rolled-out. I’ve been seeing it all over the place the last few days, and while it seems that most people are posting it just to be safe, others seem to believe that this will truly protect their content. Facebook users, especially businesses, should know that these status post declarations actually don’t do anything to protect their content. Marketing using Facebook isn’t without its inherent risks, and Facebook using your content without your permission is one of those risks, no matter what legal mumbo-jumbo you try and invoke.
In case you haven’t seen these posts, they usually begin with some variation of the following:
“In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, graphics, comics, paintings, photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!”
The truth is, you agreed to Facebook’s terms (thus giving them permissions) when you joined the service. The only way to limit what they can use is through your privacy settings or by removing the content entirely. You don’t have to take my word for it though. Here is the text straight from Facebook’s own legal page:
“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.”
Original article about Facebook's IP Terms posted on Wikimotive's blog under the title The Truth About The Viral Facebook Copyright Notice.