Monday, August 29, 2011

how safe is facebook….

a friend of mine posted a message that if one is connected to facebook though a mobile phone, then facebook stores all the names and phone numbers you have on your phone in your facebook account. Weird but true. Now for me, the numbers in my phone book are not state secrets, but as a photographer, one always worries about the rights that one loses when one uploads images on the web.

there was conflicting information available from my fellow photography enthusiasts, so I decided to do some research on my own, and this was what I found. I have copied the relevant portion of the statement of rights and responsibilities of Facebook and have reproduced the same below for the benefit of fellow photographers.

Statement of Rights and Responsibilities

Sharing Your Content and Information
You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:

  1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
  2. When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others).


One needs to read the fine print to realise that once you upload your photo(s) / video(s) on Facebook, they can be used in any manner  without paying you, the photographer one penny. Not only that, the ‘privacy’ and ‘application settings’ that are hyperlinked above only allow you the option to share with friends, friends of friends, everyone or other. No where is there an option for restricting the use of the image/video by facebook. FB also indicates that even if you delete your IP content, if it has already been shared, then they cannot do anything about it.

This needs more study and I'm sure there are other blogs / websites that go into this into detail and that is going to be the focus of my attention over the next few days.

I am also aware that most of the people reading this are shaking their head and saying, ‘so what’, my pics are not that great anyway. But I would like to point out to my friends, that it is the principle that counts and for those who feel your photos / videos matter, BEWARE OF WHAT YOU UPLOAD.

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