I’ve heard there’s been some concern over Facebook. Something about privacy. Or the fact that Facebook takes everything it can get its grubby little hands on.
Furthermore, Amanda French (Ph.D) notes,
Facebook claims it can do whatever it wants with your content if you put a Share on Facebook link on your web page. Unbelievable–and unique, as far as I can tell. People can post links in Facebook to your content just by copying and pasting the URL, but if you want to save them a few keystrokes by putting a link or a widget on your site, Facebook claims that you’ve granted them a whole mess of rights. Count me out.
The actual legalese of the TOS below (emphasis added):
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.
She does go on to clarify that posting a link on FB doesn’t give them these rights let them make these ridiculous claims, just pages that have a FB link or widget (like this one). But it’s another reminder that we should be very careful about how much faith we put in companies, especially one with Facebook’s history.
Update: After a shitstorm of epic proportions, FB is backing off its claims to everything you ever created, and saying they “have never claimed ownership of material that users upload.” The claim to share-linked content remains (thanks, three people who told me about this by today!):
By including a Share Link, Online Content Provider automatically grants, and represents and warrants that it has the right to grant, to the Company [Facebook] an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use the Share Service in order to link to, use, copy, publish, stream, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part), summarize, and distribute the content, links and other materials of any kind residing on any web pages on which Online Content Provider places the Share Link.