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What's That Copyright Message You're Seeing Posted by Your Facebook Friends?


"posting a legal 'talisman' ..."

In response to some recent changes to its privacy policy, you might have noticed some of your Facebook friends posting a rather lengthy status update regarding copyright protection. Before you start copy and pasting like everyone else, read on to see why some tech sites say that it's "fake" and "bogus and unenforceable."

Last week, Facebook proposed to end its practice of letting users vote on changes to its privacy policies, though it will continue to let users comment on proposed updates.

In response, the following is what has appeared on some Facebook status updates (via Mashable):

In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, graphics, comics, paintings, photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!

(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook

Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws. By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).

Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates…

Mashable's Stan Schroeder explains in his post that regardless of the fact that Facebook is now a publicly traded company (a similar copyright status update began circulating in June as well), users still must adhere to the same terms and conditions if they wish to be part of the site.

"[P]osting a legal “talisman” of this kind on your profile does nothing to change that," Schroeder wrote.

Facebook explains in its use terms that content covered by intellectual property rights posted on your pages is governed by the privacy and other settings you apply:

[Y]ou 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. 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).

The world's biggest social media company said in a blog post Wednesday that its voting mechanism, which is triggered only if enough people comment on proposed changes, has become a system that emphasizes quantity of responses over quality of discussion. Users tend to leave one or two-word comments objecting to changes instead of more in-depth responses.

Facebook said it will continue to inform users of "significant changes" to its privacy policy, called its data use policy, and to its statement of user rights and responsibilities. The company will keep its seven-day comment period and take users' feedback into consideration.

So, when it comes to protecting your "intellectual property" on Facebook, one of the few things you can do is delete items from the site you wouldn't want used, or, even more stringent, remove yourself from the site for good.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Featured image via Shutterstock.com. 

(H/T: Gizmodo)

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