There is this growing trend all over Facebook of people publishing a Legal Notice as a status update warning Facebook that the content they have published on their walls is copyrighted and belong exclusively to the user… Here is an example text:

“In response to the new Facebook guidelines, I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention).

For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!

(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under the protection of copyright laws. By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).

…”

This is all a wishful thinking… only. And there are a few of my views on it:

  1. When you, the user, decided to create a Facebook profile, you did accept the Terms & Conditions of the company. It does say that the content you publish is all yours… unless you are in copyright infringement. Read them next time here!
  2. So, you are on a Social Network interacting with Friends and Brands, publishing all sorts of content (some of it not created by you) and you would like Facebook to assure you that you have your privacy? Well, if you have any concerns, then be careful what you are publishing.
  3. Facebook is a business (listed on the stock exchange one). As such it needs to generate revenue and pay salaries and dividends to shareholders. It also needs money to continue providing you with the ability to connect with your friends on their platform. It basically needs to get cash in order to exist. I am sure that Mark Zuckerberg & Team would love to hear any great ideas that would help them generate revenue without serving targeted ads based on user behaviour. So go ahead.
  4. Last week Facebook did send an email concerning CHANGES in roll-out mechanism for new features and the user voting basis. It was not about your content, but about how fast they can go live with new features.  So they decided to take another road (I am not saying I agree) by asking for 30% of over 1 Bn user base to vote against (it’s a mighty number that can take forever to pass a new feature).
  5. You always have a choice to discontinue your publishing, sharing, connecting and networking on Facebook. It is only a few clicks away.
  6. I really would like to see this Legal Notice published in an original (not copying) way by every user of Pinterest… I bet you didn’t quite think about copyrighting your content there, did you?

I wish the people who published the above mention Legal Notice, would actually reflect a bit on it prior to hitting “Publish”.

What’s your take?

Copyright © 2012 Borislav Kiprin. All Rights Reserved.