Facebook’s crazy terms of use


About a year and a half ago, I wrote about Picasa Web Albums, discussing their terms of service and explaining why I couldn’t use it. Basically, those terms said that Google could help themselves to your photos if they wish, and if they wanted to put them on a Google billboard in Times Square, that would be just fine with you, thanks.

Well, Facebook is also helping themselves to your content. From their terms of use:

By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing.

This is just nuts. Basically, they’re welcome to take your stuff, make a copy, and use it for a multi-million dollar ad campaign if they want. Or, they could license YOUR photo to someone else to do the same.


If you’re thinking “hey, I don’t care” – read the part about you having the right to grant this license to Facebook. It’s possible you don’t – read my previous post about Picasa for details.

So other than my profile pic, which I suppose they can use for whatever they like, I’ve removed all of my photos from my Facebook profile. My profile is now pretty bare – not a lot of exciting stuff there. I’ll just point people to other places where I actually share some of the things I’ve done without worrying about some company helping themselves to whatever rights they want.

Facebook, you convince your partners to help you help yourself to my private information. You blatantly help yourself to whatever rights you want to everything I put on your site. What’s next? I shudder to imagine.

[via CBC News]

8 thoughts on “Facebook’s crazy terms of use

  1. Robin Ann Peters

    I was looking at Picassa today Greg, and while looking around the web for some insight to what I was thinking.. I found both of your posts with regard to this absurd TOS. Kudo’s for the great articles you have written about both. I posted to my own website and referenced yours. Trackback – People need to know this stuff!

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  5. James Stephens

    Thanks for the confirmation about Facebook. I was reading the TOS and thought it a bit strange. Is there a better social networking site that you’d recommend?



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