February 16, 2009

Facebook and Terms of Use

So in January this year Facebook decided to changes it's Terms of Use (TOU). They now say that:

"You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and distribute (through multiple tiers), any User Content you (i) Post on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof subject only to your privacy settings or (ii) enable a user to Post, including by offering a Share Link on your website and (b) to use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising, each of (a) and (b) on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof. You represent and warrant that you have all rights and permissions to grant the foregoing licenses."

While I'm not too surprised that with the crazy obsessiveness people use Facebook these days that they've decided to change the TOU to something a little more all-encompassing and long-term, I dislike the fact that anything that I now post in promotion of my photography is now "owned" by Facebook. Likewise with any pictures I've taken that a client posts on their own profile. The moment it now appears on that Facebook website, Facebook can do whatever they want with it and do not have to compensate you for the use of it. You have no say in anything that they do to any information that you've posted, any opinions that you've made, or works of art that you're sharing.

A major part of what irks me is that it appears Facebook has decided to retroactively put this clause in place. There wasn't general notification to users in January that the Terms of Use had changed and that to me is being irresponsible on Facebook's part.

Not sure what this means for my posting portraits on Facebook for clients to see and share with others. Do the risks of Facebook picking up my stuff to use for promotion ad infinitum outweigh the costs of me servicing my customers and clients who in all reality will probably post any photos I've shot of them to Facebook anyways? Probably not. Still is something to chew on though.

More soon...


  1. This is crazy. Did you see they have switched back to their old ToU until further notice?

  2. No I hadn't seen that yet! Wow..Thanks for the update Ben. I guess more than a few people are a little irked by the new TOU.