Why Facebook is Not a Photographer's Friend

Photo Attorney Carolyn Wright has posted about the terms of service on Facebook – and it’s not friendly.

Facebook, I’m sure, is not the only site to have this stuff buried in there. (I should probably go check Blogger.com …) Please make sure you’re reading those pesky terms of service agreements and that you’re not giving up anything you value by posting to online sites.

Update: Well, I checked Google’s terms of service. It starts out fine …

Your Intellectual Property Rights. Google claims no ownership or control over any Content submitted, posted or displayed by you on or through Google services. You or a third party licensor, as appropriate, retain all patent, trademark and copyright to any Content you submit, post or display on or through Google services and you are responsible for protecting those rights, as appropriate. (Emphasis their’s)

However, they then wrap up with …

By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Google services which are intended to be available to the members of the public, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, publish and distribute such Content on Google services for the purpose of displaying and distributing Google services.


The negative side of me says this isn’t good, the optimistic side of me says that’s just legalese to allow them to do what you’ve asked (distribute your content via their services). I think I’m going to lean towards the optimistic side on this as there’s nothing there about relicensing or redistribution.

Mark E. Johnson

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