Facebook new TOS all a Twitter

Facebooks new TOS (Terms of Service) was twittering this weekend. From what I understand the new and revised TOS, everything that you add to your Facebook account becomes the property of Facebook. About.com sent out an alert of sorts in its genealogy newsletter.

I wonder how the Genea-Bloggers Facebook group feels about the change?

I posted the question to the Copyright mailing list on RootsWeb. Go here to see if there is a response: http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/index/COPYRIGHT/2009-02

Consumerist advice:

“…Make sure you never upload anything you don’t feel comfortable giving away forever, because it’s Facebook’s now.

(Note that as several readers have pointed out, this seems to be subject to your privacy settings, so anything you’ve protected from full public view doesn’t seem to be usable in other ways regardless.)..”

NYT:

“…Reacting to an online swell of suspicion about changes to Facebook’s terms of service, the company’s chief executive moved to reassure users on Monday that the users, not the Web site, “own and control their information…”

Here is what Kimberly Powell had to say:

Genealogists have taken Facebook by storm this past year – everywhere I go it seems like I’m meeting more of my Facebook “friends,” which is wonderful! But as more and more personal content is being posted to Facebook by genealogists, the change this month by Facebook to their Terms of Service (TOS) gives me pause. First picked up by the Consumerist blog, it appears that Facebook made a change on Feb. 4 to remove the clause that allowed the license you granted Facebook to use your posted content to automatically expire when you cancelled your account.

“If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however (sic) you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.”

Now, apparently, Facebook can do whatever it wants with your uploaded photos, writings, messages and other content, even after you terminate you account. Yes, you still retain the copyright. But they can continue to use the content as they see fit, well forever.

“The following sections will survive any termination of your use of the Facebook Service…”

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended the language “tweaking” as necessaryNew York Times article. on the Facebook blog yesterday in order to resolve a conflict over ownership of messages posted by one Facebook owner to another among other things. Read more in this

So how does this apply to genealogists? Social networking site a wonderful medium for networking and collaboration, but it can be a bit scary to sign over blanket rights to use what you post online (although this is actually a fairly standard user agreement for many such sites). Will this change how and/or if you use Facebook?

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About Louisiana Genealogy Admin

I manage several RootsWeb mailing lists and message boards, support Louisiana Cemetery Preservation, am a former Louisiana and Mississippi librarian, have been researching genealogy of my family since 1988, and write and promote several blogs supporting either Louisiana genealogy or Louisiana cemeteries.
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6 Responses to Facebook new TOS all a Twitter

  1. geneabloggers says:

    Hello from Geneabloggers!

    We’ve been on top of the Facebook TOS controversy as it has unfolded and right now I’m taking a “wait and see” attitude. Luckily, I created the http://www.geneabloggers.com site as a companion and possible backup to the Geneabloggers Group on Facebook in case there were ever a situation where we would need to switch over.

    Right now my concern is that Mark Zukerberg, the creator and owner of Facebook, wants us to “trust” him and Facebook that they will do the “right thing” with our information. Sorry, that’s isn’t good enough for me and as I like to say “my mama didn’t raise no stupid children.”

    I am hoping that FB will relent and revert to its former TOS provisions. But if it does not and if I get input from the Geneabloggers members as to leaving FB, I’ll have to take it under consideration.

  2. geneabloggers says:

    Hello from Geneabloggers!

    We’ve been on top of the Facebook TOS controversy as it has unfolded and right now I’m taking a “wait and see” attitude. Luckily, I created the http://www.geneabloggers.com site as a companion and possible backup to the Geneabloggers Group on Facebook in case there were ever a situation where we would need to switch over.

    Right now my concern is that Mark Zukerberg, the creator and owner of Facebook, wants us to “trust” him and Facebook that they will do the “right thing” with our information. Sorry, that’s isn’t good enough for me and as I like to say “my mama didn’t raise no stupid children.”

    I am hoping that FB will relent and revert to its former TOS provisions. But if it does not and if I get input from the Geneabloggers members as to leaving FB, I’ll have to take it under consideration.

  3. geneabloggers says:

    Hello from Geneabloggers!We’ve been on top of the Facebook TOS controversy as it has unfolded and right now I’m taking a “wait and see” attitude. Luckily, I created the http://www.geneabloggers.com site as a companion and possible backup to the Geneabloggers Group on Facebook in case there were ever a situation where we would need to switch over.Right now my concern is that Mark Zukerberg, the creator and owner of Facebook, wants us to “trust” him and Facebook that they will do the “right thing” with our information. Sorry, that’s isn’t good enough for me and as I like to say “my mama didn’t raise no stupid children.” I am hoping that FB will relent and revert to its former TOS provisions. But if it does not and if I get input from the Geneabloggers members as to leaving FB, I’ll have to take it under consideration.

  4. valentinowife says:

    This seems to be an issue with many genealogy sites lately – buried in teir TOS is usually a comment to the effect that photos and information posted to them belong to them – my hard work belongs to ME!! I have no intention of signing away the rights to my research and photosgraphs??? Guess it all becomes a “buyer beware”scenario unfortunately.

  5. valentinowife says:

    This seems to be an issue with many genealogy sites lately – buried in teir TOS is usually a comment to the effect that photos and information posted to them belong to them – my hard work belongs to ME!! I have no intention of signing away the rights to my research and photosgraphs??? Guess it all becomes a “buyer beware”scenario unfortunately.

  6. valentinowife says:

    This seems to be an issue with many genealogy sites lately – buried in teir TOS is usually a comment to the effect that photos and information posted to them belong to them – my hard work belongs to ME!! I have no intention of signing away the rights to my research and photosgraphs??? Guess it all becomes a “buyer beware”scenario unfortunately.

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