Photo Attorney

Jul 24, 2008

Terms to Make a Happy Face Very Sad

Techcrunch reported in June that Facebook had caught up with MySpace as the largest social network. Unfortunately, Facebook seems to be taking more than just a top spot for hits.

Specifically, Facebook's Terms of Use provide:

By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing.
Emphasis added.

Fortunately, Facebook recognizes that "you retain full ownership of all of your User Content and any intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights associated with your User Content" and that the license you granted above expires when you remove your User Content; however, Facebook keeps the right to "retain archived copies of your User Content." Wonder why.

Next time you decide to keep up with your friends on the Internet, be sure to read the terms of your socializing activities. They may not be so friendly.

Thanks to Nathan Chilton for submitting this alert.