Thursday, December 18, 2008

If you love Facebook ...

... then all well and good. But best not be posting your artwork, short stories or poems to the site. Not before reading this little snippet from the website's Terms of Use:

"When you post User Content to the Site, you authorise and direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content on the Site. By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide licence (with the right to sublicence) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorise sublicences of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the licence granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content. Facebook does not assert any ownership over your User Content; rather, as between us and you, subject to the rights granted to us in these Terms, you retain full ownership of all of your User Content and any intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights associated with your User Content."

Yes, you retain copyright to your work. But that licence is as good as transferring your copyright of your work to them for 0.0 peanuts. And yes, the licence expires when you remove your content from their website, but while it's up on their site, they can do what they damn well please with it. And I bet they keep the copyright to any derivative works, too!

Compare this to the TOS:

"Your Intellectual Property Rights. Google claims no ownership or control over any Content submitted, posted or displayed by you on or through Google services. You or a third-party licensor, as appropriate, retain all patent, trademark and copyright to any Content you submit, post or display on or through Google services and you are responsible for protecting those rights, as appropriate. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Google services which are intended to be available to the members of the public, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free licence to reproduce, publish and distribute such Content on Google services for the purpose of displaying and distributing Google services. Google furthermore reserves the right to refuse to accept, post, display or transmit any Content at its sole discretion."

Again - Google are saying you grant them a licence to use your copyrighted material, but they then put a limit on the ways they can use your material. Distasteful, yes, but much more honest and open (until they unilaterally change their TOS, of course).

Always read the TOS before posting. You know it makes sense!

No comments:

Post a Comment