Message circulating on Facebook warns users that on “Friday”, Facebook will become owner of the publishing rights of all their private photos.
This message is inaccurate and misleading. Facebook does not and will not own your photographs. You retain the copyright to your intellectual property. However, Facebook has ALWAYS retained a license to use and display photos and other information published on the network. There is no indication that this policy is set to change on Friday. Moreover, following the instructions in the message will NOT curtail Facebook’s overall license to use or display material you post to the site although, in the future, it may affect how your information is used in ads.
ATTENTION: Friday, Facebook will become owner of the publishing rights of ALL your private photos. You need to make a simple change: go to ‘account’, ‘account settings’, ‘facebook adverts'(along the top), ‘ads shown by third parties’, choose ‘NO ONE’ then SAVE. 2 seconds’ job. And please Share share share. (for those who haven’t done this yet.)
According to this warning message, on Friday, Facebook will become the owner of the publishing rights for all your private photographs. The message provides information supposedly detailing how to prevent this impending event from affecting you. It also asks that you share the information with others so that they can change their settings as well.
Moreover, the instructions included in the message will not stop Facebook from using this IP License as outlined above. If you follow the steps in the warning message, you will be presented with a settings page that includes the following message:
Facebook does not give third party applications or ad networks the right to use your name or picture in ads. If we allow this in the future, the setting you choose will determine how your information is used.
Thus, changing the setting to “No One” as suggested in the warning, will presumably stop your information from being shown to your Facebook friends via third-party applications or ad networks if Facebook decides to allow this in the future. However, even if Facebook does bring in this change in the future – the fact that it has provided this setting to begin with suggests that such a change is likely – altering the setting to “No One” will not have any effect on Facebook’s normal IP License implementation.
In fact, there are no credible reports that indicate that Facebook is about to change its policies in a way that will give it the right to retain the actual copyright on IP content posted on the network. The message vaguely specifies Friday as the day when the change is set to take place. However, it does not include a date, thus ensuring that the message will continue circulating long after the first and subsequent Fridays have come and gone.