Stop Spreading the Facebook Copyright Hoax — Please!

A large number of Facebook users are posting a message that, allegedly, protects the content they post. Well, it’s a hoax folks, and an old one at that.

A large number of Facebook users (including some Facebook friends of mine) are posting messages that, allegedly, protect them from a change in the social network’s terms of service. They think that posting the message will preserve their copyright over content they post on the social network. Here’s the truth about it, so that maybe you all decide to stop annoying me and all of your friends with it.

facebook copyright hoax

Facebook is filled up with this post. I decided to hide the specifics of the person posting it, because they should know better. But apparently they don’t.

Several users have been dupped into believing that posting the message will stop them from being affected by some new Facebook guidelines that would allow Facebook to use

elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates.

And it could do so without being affected by any copyright whatsoever.

Let’s clear this up, shall we? First, Facebook has not and will not change ownership of the content users post. Here you can see in this Fact check on the Facebook newsroom.

fact check facebook copyright

Basically, only you own your content, so whatever you post belongs to you. Which involves being responsible for what you post as well. Keep that in mind when posting private details and derogatory comments.

Second, let’s take a look at Facebook’s Statement of Rights And Responsibilities. It clearly states that

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings.

However, it also states that

For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us [Facebook] the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you 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).

So, you own your content. But by posting it, you give Facebook a license to use it. The conclusion is that with rights comes responsibility. As much as you may own it, Facebook can use it.

The funniest thing I find in this crazy Facebook meme is that it already made its rounds back in May of this year! How it regained this viral status I can only speculate.

Now, how about watching what you post — including various panic-filled hoaxes — and keep calm about losing copyright?



  1. Austin Krause

    November 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    This isn’t anything new. Posting your pictures on a public and free platform forfeits your rights to privacy and control of those items.

    Posting something like the above “notice” doesn’t give you any advanced rights.

    • Bogdan Bele

      November 28, 2012 at 12:05 am

      People tend to panic and post lots of stuff of this sort just because it makes them feel protected, I guess.

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