Facebook TOS Update

UPDATE from previous post...

Since yesterday, there have been several new additions to this saga, including a mediocre "response" by Zuckerberg himself in which he states:

"Our philosophy is that people own their information and control who they share it with." He goes on to assure users that, "In reality, we wouldn't share your information in a way you wouldn't want."

This response was picked up by several news outlets, including CNET who seemed to think this clarified the whole issue.

Sweet, Facebook doesn't "own" our content. We already knew that. And its not what concerns me about the new TOS...

Here is my issue-- this is NOT about content ownership. The fact that Zuckerberg's and every other Facebook response addresses "User Content is exempt from ownership claims" is somewhat of a red herring. Ownership over content is not the issue. Its about the all-encompassing licensing. The licensing agreement is so over-arching that "ownership" becomes irrelevant because you basically grant Facebook the ability to use your content in whatever way they want, including the right to sublicense! Lets read it again:

"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."

So, some key questions for Facebook:

1. Why weren’t FB users notified of the significant changes either via a message or notice on the homepage?

2. The termination clause was deleted, why?

3. Where is the intellectual property rights clause from the old TOS and how is that affected in the new TOS?

4. As per the licensing clause, does this mean to include any User Content that is posted by a brand, including any trademarked or copyrighted materials as owned by the brand? Essentially, are you saying that brands agree to license material to Facebook with which they can do anything with, including sublicense it?

Follow the debate on Twitter
And check out the Consumerist follow-up which includes links to a side by side comparison of other TOS's, and blogger Kent Davidson's rebuttal to Zuckerberg's response


Anonymous said...

Get over it. This whining is useless. Oh no, not your precious facebook status updates! Blah

alisa leonard-hansen said...


Thank you for your insight and constructive comment! Now, please clarify...what whining? Who's talking about Facebook status updates?

I see you are a supporter of OpenID (yay), and if you spent more than a passing glance on this blog, you would quickly realize I too am a supporter of open identity standards (and its corollary, data portability). Now, if covering the Facebook TOS drama and its attempt to completely co-opt identity (particularly if you consider Facebook now versus such options as OpenID) is somehow whining, then I profously apologize.

Now, do try to be more targeted with your comments, irrelevance does not suit you well...

Best wishes

alisa leonard-hansen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alisa leonard-hansen said...

its late, i hope i don't have to clarify the reference to Facebook vs. OpenID, but it obviously is a nod to the FBC vs. OpenID debate....

sleep beckons

Anonymous said...

ps. my apologies to my friend Dave Allen for now being associated with such a juvenile comment, and the (deserved) backlash my comment provoked. That was not my intent.

I have posted an open letter to all you great folks on my lovely website.

alisa leonard-hansen said...


thanks for the comments...Dave Allen is great and his blog social-cache.com always has great insights