Photo Distribution Rights: Publishing to Facebook
Facebook is currently the leader in social media networks--and for a good reason. It's easy-to-use interface makes it popular amongst people of all ages for keeping in touch with their family, friends and community. Facebook allows users to upload up to 200 photos into each of an unlimited amount of photo albums and most users take advantage of this. However most people are unaware of the legal status of their images after being uploaded. Fortunately Facebook makes the legal status of user submitted content easy to find and read.
Step 1: View the 'Terms' Link
Go to www.Facebook.com and log into your account. Scroll to the bottom of the homepage and click on the 'Terms' link.
Step 2: Understand Your Rights
Facebook calls this page its 'Statement of Rights and Responsibilities'. It is a public document summarizing a user's privacy and rights on Facebook and is frequently updated. Section 2 deals with the legal status of user submitted content. Here is a brief summary of the important facts of what you need to know:
1. You own all of the content and information that you post on Facebook. You have the ability to control how it is shared through your privacy and application setting.
2. By posting on Facebook you are granting them non-exclusive, royalty-free worldwide license to use any of the work you post on Facebook. This license terminates when you delete the content.
Non-exclusive means you can post your content on other sites and do whatever else you want with it.
Royalty-free means Facebook will not pay you anything for any content you post on it's site no matter how much traffic it draws.
This can also be interpreted as Facebook can use content that you've posted to promote itself. The likelihood of your profile picture being used for commercial purposes is unlikely since you can at anytime delete your content and that would automatically revoke their non-exclusive right to it.
3. Deleting content on Facebook does not mean it is permanently erased from the system. It may still exist somewhere temporarily as a backed up file.
4. Publishing content that everyone can see means that it can be viewed outside of the Facebook system. Facebook claims that they may not have control over what others do with your images.
Here's a quick recap of the distribution rights of your Facebook Photos:
You own them and by uploading them you allow Facebook the non-exclusive right to share your content. You will not make any royalty money from your content and this agreement with Facebook ends when you delete the content. Basically, it's a friendly place to share your photos.