Photo Attorney

Feb 16, 2009

Facebook's Terms of Use Go From Bad to Worse

As reported in my January 11, 2009, blog, Facebook's Terms of Use are bad. But, as reported by the Consumerist blog, Facebook has now removed the clause that provided that the license expired when you remove your Content from the site. Now, the TOU state:

The following sections will survive any termination of your use of the Facebook Service: Prohibited Conduct, User Content . . . Limitation on Liability, Termination and Changes to the Facebook Service, Arbitration . . . .

The License also has been revised. It now states:
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. You represent and warrant that you have all rights and permissions to grant the foregoing licenses.

So, as one person questioned: "Will this really hold up in a court of law, if, let's say Facebook decides to use a work registered with the U.S. Copyright Office for commercial purposes?"

Yep! Registered or not. Time to make an about face from Facebook.

Thanks to Rob Sylvan and Tom Winstead for submitting this alert.