It’s even worse
Many of you have read my previous article, “Why sharing photos on Facebook is bad for you“, and have learned that sharing your photos is not just bad for you, but also for your friends and especially for your photography business. Check it out first if you have not done so. I will wait a moment here.
Welcome back. That post got re-tweeted a lot (thanks!) and I got a few comments that made me check my websites and dig even deeper (thank you Matthew, Kerry, Tim and Rob) and it appears the situation is even worse than imagined. My apologies for the following long post involving lots of assumptions and legal stuff. But I think it is important to get this out in the open.
To lighten it up a little, I have added some more cheerful images (you can click on them to go to a larger version on the ExposedPlanet photoblog for details, exif info and comments).
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Ps: all images are mine and link to larger versions on ExposedPlanet.com photoblog. They are available as print, free eCard or commercial/editorial licensing. Or just enjoy them and read the thoughts behind the pictures as well as technical info for photographers!
But first, read and weep:
Facebook is a company that is worth billions. Well done. Unfortunately, as always this attracts all kinds of idiots and lazies looking for easy money as they are too stupid to think of a good idea of their own. Especially in the US it is customary to sue for anything you want, which is a pain in the behind for any company and individual. I am positive that there are dozens of people currently scheming to set up Facebook by testing the legal limits, placing ‘bad’ pictures of themselves through friends and then blaming FB for it.
FB needs a strong defense against this, and also to allow FB users to share links, comment on each other’s photos and do all things that makes FB a successful social tool. I totally agree that they keep it strict to avoid problems rather than fixing them.
But that does not mean that they need to wipe out everybody else’s rights like Monsanto’s toxic chemicals on a corn field. Yes, it will do the job, but meanwhile destructing everything else.
I am a photographer and no IP lawyer, but it seems to me that there is no reason to be able to ‘sublicense’ and ‘transfer’ your IP content ‘worldwide’ ‘royalty free’, while using your private content to show advertisements to your friends unless you opt out of this, while you never get paid for it.
This is not protecting them, just increasing their market value. And as I pointed out, these terms contradict the terms all stock photographers sign for with their stock company, putting them at legal risk.
Disclaimer: do what you want with this information on this blog, but don’t blame me for either taking your pictures off or leaving them on FB. maybe I am wrong, maybe I am right. Surely you should be able to decide for yourself what to do. First, let’s dig a bit deeper in the legal mess of the rest of the Terms.