I network with a lot of writers on Facebook (I have 550 friends after all), plus I have the RSS feed to my blog there as well. So it concerned me when recently I learned Facebook updated its Terms of Service, which now reads it owns the rights to your stuff…forever. Here’s the actual paragraph from the TOS:
“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.”
Of course, the founder is now trying to say, “NO NO NO! That’s not exactly what I meant.” But, come on. We’re not stupid. He posted an official response which you can read here.
Writers beware: DO NOT post any of your works-in-progress here. If you do, you’ll be giving your rights away for free, forever. I don’t think you want that to happen. And while I don’t give a fat rat’s ass if Facebook keeps the rights to, say, my 25 Random Things About Me, I DO care that they’ve decided they own me. Period.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ll still use the site. I still think it’s ten thousand times better than MySpace and I’ve connected with a lot of people I’ve lost touch with over the last 20 years of my life. However, in the future, I will be very careful about what I post on Facebook.
Pass this on to others if you can.