Monday, February 16, 2009

And Facebook responds:

An official response from Facebook about their new TOS.


Nyssa said...

And that's supposed to defend the line:

"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"?

I don't think so!

Vieva said...

I have to say, that explanation makes me LESS unhappy.

That said, there's still the fact that what their TOS says and what that says aren't necessarily the same thing - and in court, what matters most is the TOS. That's the legal contract.

I guess the part that confuses me is why Facebook ITSELF needs a license, as opposed to just the right to show and transfer. I have a contract with Dreamhost for my website, and in NO WAY does it own my content. It just gives me a place to post it.

Or is it different because I'm renting space there?

I'm very confused by the whole thing - and I really wish the law itself was clearer here.

(and I still want it clearer what happens if I delete my account!)

andrewkaye said...

Facebook isn't alleviating my fear of unfeeling robot overlords one bit.

annerallen said...

Sasha Frere Jones of the New Yorker isn't buying it. He told the NYT today “Zuckerberg’s response to the protest is just the modern version of ‘Ignore the fine print, ma’am, just sign here,’ Why would anyone trust a company with his or her personal information, especially when that company’s explicit legal language claims eternal rights to exploit that information, and there is good reason to expect that they will?”

Arachne Jericho said...

I don't really know what to think about Facebook and it's TOS; on the one hand, it's not a nice TOS.

On the other hand, Facebook works differently from, say, a hosting service. Facebook actually stores your data in their database---it's as if other bloggers were also using your blog. As a result, the sharing of data and ownership becomes murky. People can legitimately, with a less strict TOS, sue Facebook for keeping copies of their data, even though Facebook needs to do this in order to operate at all.

It's a litigious society; a Facebook competitor could just as easily use a loose TOS to take Facebook down with a lawsuit. That would be considered a sane company strategy on the competitor's part, if there are enough weaknesses. And right now Facebook and its competitors are still in the I'll-bite-your-face-off stage, rather than the maybe-we-can-each-contribute-something-while-hoarding-over-our-individual-areas-of-excellence stage.

Ann Victor said...

Thanks for the update Colleen. I asked my husband about it last night (he's an advocate) and he said i.h.o FB TOS wouldn't stand up in a court of law, but the caveat is: what ordinary person can afford to take them to a court of law?

I lay awake worrying abot Blogger's TOS as my blog contains work that I definitely want to retain rights to. Here's an excerpt of what Bloggers TOS says about Intellectual Property rights:

"6. Intellectual Property Rights. Google's Intellectual Property Rights. You acknowledge that Google owns all right, title and interest in and to the Service, including all intellectual property rights (the "Google Rights")... Accordingly, you agree that you will not copy, reproduce, alter, modify, or create derivative works from the Service... 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 license 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 in its sole discretion...blahblah

It goes on, but I think Blogger TOS is more reasonable and I wonder why FB has to justify their draconian TOS with the excuse "we're still learning".

Bottom line: I'll keep my FB account but use it less and be extremely cautious as to what I post.

ICQB said...

The response didn't actually say, clarify, or explain anything.

NewGuyDave said...

Facebook won't let me add a comment to their blog. lol

There is a distinct difference between giving Facebook the right to use my information, as stated in their blog entry, and the right to own and sublicense as stated in their ToS.