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Petapixel Article On Photo Ownership

Posted: Tue May 12, 2015 6:49 pm
by McG1967
The following article was posted to Petapixel today regarding photos uploaded to Facebook:

RE: Petapixel Article On Photo Ownership

Posted: Wed May 13, 2015 5:29 am
by trevisan26
"Update: Facebook tells us that the representative’s response was incorrect. Here’s what a Facebook spokesperson tells us via email:

The information given in these emails is incorrect. Our terms are clear that you own the content you share on Facebook, including photos. When you post something, you simply grant Facebook a license to use that content consistent with our terms, including displaying it to the audience you’ve shared it with.

In addition, we prohibit people from posting content that violates someone else’s intellectual property rights. If a rights owner believes that content on Facebook violates their rights, they may report it to us. Upon notice, we stand ready to respond including by removing the content from Facebook."

RE: Petapixel Article On Photo Ownership

Posted: Wed May 13, 2015 2:10 pm
by ckw
Yes. "consistent with our terms" ... and what do those terms say?

[copied from the]

"For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us 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). 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."

Key things to note here - the licence is transferrable and sub-licensable. Basically in simple terms that means FB can legally do pretty much anything they want to your images. Would you give a magazine such a license??

I'm not suggesting the FB are currently doing anything untoward that I know of, but, if for example, Getty wanted to buy all the images on FB for resale through their own channels, FB could sell them. You could of course remove your images, but I wonder how practical that would be given that FB retains their licence rights if the image has been shared on another FB account.

Now compare this to the T&C for Pinterest: [from]

"You grant Pinterest and its users a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, store, display, reproduce, re-pin, modify, create derivative works, perform, and distribute your User Content on Pinterest solely for the purposes of operating, developing, providing, and using the Pinterest Products".

OK, so here we see the same sort of words but with the all so important caveat
"solely for the purposes of operating, developing, providing, and using the Pinterest Products".

I think when you compare the two paragraphs side by side, the omission of the limitation of the licence on FB's part is glaring and potentially hugely significant.

Whatever a FB rep or anyone else might say about intentions etc. what really matters are the terms you agree to when you use the service.

Of course this has nothing to do with people uploading other peoples content, which is another thing altogether and does appear reasonably covered in the FB T&C.

But as I understand it, by uploading to FB you will not lose your IP rights, but you may lose control of how your images are used.

In the interest of full disclosure, I dislike FB, partly due to lack of trust, partly due to headaches caused by their constantly changing code making web integration a PITA. I do use Pinterest because it offers exposure without compromising my rights.