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
“…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.)..”
“…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?