Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Michael Bissell's Blog

Facebook owns this title

2009-02-17 21:52:09
Shortcut URL: http://t.conquent.com/3400

I have heard some snide comments from time to time regarding the fact I don't like to use canned applications, and I like hosted services (like Livejournal) even less. There are great advantages to letting someone else do all your programming, but when you run a company that specializes in applicaiton development, it seems silly to be tied to some, unknown technology.

Of course I have accounts all over the place. I'm on Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, Wordpress.com, Twitter, Plaxo, Blogsot, and a few more I can't really even recall off the top of my head. And every time I sign up for one of those service I blithely accept the terms of service.

Now Facebook seems to have pushed the envelope in what they feel they get to do with what I create on their service. In an article in Business Week, I learned that simply by posting someting, be it a photo, a comment, a note, or any other content, Facebook has "an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license" to use, retain, and display content posted to the site." Even after you cancel your account.

This gives me one more reason to maintain a blog on Conquent.com and simply post links to that blog on these other services. I know where the data is and, as my company owns the server, I know that I haven't just given away my content for life.

Not that pictures of me dressed as Santa or playing the Boudrahn are going to be big intellectual property rights later, but it's nice to know I can choose to remove a photo later, or edit a blog to my choosing. It's also nice to know that if anyone is going to make money off my efforts it's going to be me or the people I choose, not some face(book)less company because I happened to click on a checkbox saying I understood their terms of service.



Update 2009-18-10:16
CNN Reports that Facebook backs down, reverses on user information policy.
"As Mark expressed in his blog post on Monday, it was never our intention to confuse people or make them uneasy about sharing on Facebook," company spokesman Barry Schnitt said in a blog post. "I also want to be very clear that Facebook does not, nor have we ever, claimed ownership over people's content. Your content belongs to you."
Of course, it's all fiction -- if Facebook can change their terms of services at anytime, and so easily apparently, then is there really a standard set of terms?



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