All those social networking website widgets may as well remove the Facebook button now

Seeing as Facebook has decided to claim that they own rights to any content on a website that has a “click to share on Facebook” style button (along with all the rest of their new claims over User Content), nearly everybody will be removing that particular button ASAP while they leave the buttons for the other social networking services that have a saner intellectual property policy. (You may notice that this site no longer has a Facebook button – I just unclicked that option – took me two seconds in the Sociable plugin interface).

Read more about it from Amanda French (h/t to the desert man on twitter)

I’m thinking hard about the content I import from my other website. Also, what about my clients’ intellectual property rights on sites on which I’ve installed a Facebook sharing button? For those whose blog sections consist of promoting shows/events, it’s probably not an issue – they want the publicity for the events, not for the content of their blurbs about those events. But what about clients whose content is more their own hard intellectual work? How do I advise them?

There’s many news articles around that go into more detail about claims and counterclaims about the impact of Facebook’s revised Terms of Use. The idea that they claim to still own your User Content even if you delete your account is a particular doozy.

One prediction is that Facebook’s new policy could enable it to publish, say, a “25 Things” book without attribution or payment to the users who authored the content they include. Now there’s an intriguing possibility.

Categories: ethics & philosophy, technology

Tags: , , , , ,

7 replies

  1. Bizarre, I can’t see how they would have any such claim whatsoever. Copyright lies in the expression of an idea. It must be in their T&Cs but that would be such an onerous and unusual provision, and arguably also for no consideration given the benefit of such a button flows to Facebook, that they would need to draw very clear attention to it I would have thought.
    Can’t wait for Legal Eagle/Skepticwig to parse it.

  2. They want the rights to my conversations and my photos? Um I don’t think so? I don’t like this at all.

  3. @ Chally:
    Doing a bit more reading, it looks like the new Terms of Use may just have been badly drafted to give an impression that is at odds with Facebook’s actual intent, which is to specify that if you have enabled others to post information from your Facebook wall or from your website to their Facebook wall, then Facebook doesn’t have to delete it from their account if you subsequently remove that information.
    Once the TOU has been clarified to my satisfaction, I’ll probably put the button back up. If the clarification is up to par.

  4. Thanks. I hope that’s the case.

  5. Hmm… having read around some of those news stories that’s one big FAIL for corporate communication.

  6. Hmmm. If they claim ownership for something, do they also “own up” tp responsibility and liability for anything evil, slanderous or illegal that they “own”?
    If I was wanting to sue for some particular bit of toxic content, I’d rather sue something with deep pockets (like Facebook) than some individual who probably won’t have the cash for compensation.

  7. Well well well – I just came home from a night out and logged into Facebook to quickly check on my mates before bedtime, and what do I find on the Home page?

    Terms of Use Update
    Over the past few days, we have received a lot of feedback about the new terms we posted two weeks ago. Because of this response, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised. For more information, visit the Facebook Blog.
    If you want to share your thoughts on what should be in the new terms, check out our group Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.

    It’s a reasonably deft response to the current clusterfuck. Pity they didn’t avoid the misstep in the first place.

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