If you haven’t yet heard, Facebook has modified its terms of service to say that they now own all content posted or uploaded to the site and can use it in any way they wish without compensating you. This is of particular interest to the dance community because there are a great many of us using Facebook and uploading all kinds of pictures, videos, dance reviews, blog posts, etc. Not only can they now use without your permission anything that you upload, but, if you have a Facebook widget on your site inviting readers to post a link from your site to Facebook, it’s treated the same as an upload — you’ve automatically consented to giving full rights over that material to Facebook.
I’m not an IP lawyer but this looks on its face like unenforceable dumbassery — look at this NYTimes review for example: according to Facebook’s new TOS, they own not only Sir Alastair’s words, but the photos and slide show of Evidence as well because of the Facebook widget that pops up when you click the “share” button. So under these new terms it seems that they could sell the photos for use in a commercial or advertisement without any compensation to the dance company or newspaper. Obviously, ludicrously far-reaching consequences.
But since this has a lot of smart people up in arms, I think everyone would do best to reconsider what they upload to Facebook, at least until it’s all sorted out. For more information on this issue, go here, here, and here.
Update: Here’s the latest, kind of summarizing the whole thing.