Not totally photo related, not just a journal. A bit of both.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A caution on posting images to Facebook

A friend of mine who is a photographer in Florida asked me if I knew about the Facebook policy about user content and how they pretty much own your soul if you post content to the site. I know its fairly standard boilerplate and the following is taken from their ToS, but a lot of people - the general public as well as photographers and models - may not be aware of it. The emphasis is added by me:

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.

There is also nothing I can see in the privacy settings that stops Facebook from using your content.

I know most of you will be careful with posting your high res images anywhere, but your clients and models may not be as careful, and could post to Facebook. Then your content, which could have been re-sold for more, could now be widely distributed and used by Facebook for free. Not to mention stolen by those not respecting your IP rights.

I know most images -resolution wise - are not usable for print, and most pics uploaded by most people are just snapshots or bar photos, but they are suitable for online usage on web sites such as Facebook itself. Who knows if someone at Facebook has an idea for a Facebook mobile upload collage of bar photo images and yours are there for the taking. Or some developer who dreams up some sort of annoying modeling application could use your images for their app because they are only using them on Facebook.

Essentially, as long as your photos and content are posted on Facebook, Facebook may use and sell them in which ever way they want to because you have allowed Facebook to do that when you agreed to the FB ToS. If the pictures are removed from Facebook, this right for Facebook to use the content is revoked.

So I would be very careful what you post on Facebook. It is one of the reasons that I don't post images to Facebook except in blog posts and why I have not updated my group in a long time. That, and I can't post nudity to Facebook as I am not going to set age based restrictions on my group/page.


Mike Wood Photography

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