Facebook Dirty Pool

The morning started off well enough, and the the updates started flowing fas and furiously as people began to spread the news that Facebook had changed it’s terms of service over night.

Nasty, evil new terms of service that totally take control of all your content. You have just given Facebook free licence to screw you any which way. And you have to smile.

You are solely responsible for the User Content that you Post on or through the Facebook Service. 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.

WTF?

Not only can they take your stuff and use it any way you want, but they can also use you in any sort of advertising, with no express permission. Just by you being on the site, you are giving them carte blanche.

The worst piece of the pie is that Facebook can also sublicence you and your content to anyone they so choose.

In summary, you are now a facebook whore. They have just become the biggest pimp in the universe. :-(

What the Internets have to say about the evilness:

CNET

The Consumerist

Marketing Vox

The Industry Standard

 

And from Mr Facebook: Mark Zuckerman:

UPDATE at 2:38 p.m. PST: Zuckerberg wrote a post for the Facebook blog later on Monday about the issue: “We still have work to do to communicate more clearly about these issues, and our terms are one example of this,” he wrote. “Our philosophy that people own their information and control who they share it with has remained constant. A lot of the language in our terms is overly formal and protective of the rights we need to provide this service to you. Over time we will continue to clarify our positions and make the terms simpler.”

Zuckerberg continued: “We’re at an interesting point in the development of the open online world where these issues are being worked out. It’s difficult terrain to navigate and we’re going to make some missteps, but as the leading service for sharing information we take these issues and our responsibility to help resolve them very seriously.”

Dude - if you want to change some terms, and fix the insane backlash, you’d better be VERY clear about what the legal bits say. Just you saying “oh don’t worry” on your blog isn’t going to cut it. You totally knew what you were doing, and now you’re just trying to play innocent. Pfft. Change the terms. That would be the cool thing to do.