Facebook has yet again made a move for its users’ content. This time, changing their TOS to assert that they own copies of any third-party content, as well as removing the clause that states that the granted license expires upon the termination of your Facebook account.
Facebook users have already started moving to fight back.
By the way, if you have not already figured it out, this is Facebook’s modus operandi. In the still of the night, they swoop in and make broad changes, removing privacy and laying claims to your rights and contnet. Then Facebook users rise up in an organized manner. Then what happens? Facebook makes some concessions to roll back a few of the changes. A few people leave Facebook. A ton more people sign up to replace them the next day.
You know what they don’t do? They don’t go back to the “previous” state of Facebook.
This is the perfect power-grabbing scheme–lay claim to a bunch of your user’s rights/content/privacy/soul, and then when they complain, “give” some of it back. But not all of it. You’ll see this same method of power-grabbing in politics, business, religion, education, and anywhere else there are more than two people gathered.
For more on this, just watch the blogosphere in general–this story will be everywhere for the next few weeks. Also, read Dr. Amanda French’s analysis of Facebook’s TOS in comparison to other social software sites.
Although I won’t turn around and delete my account tomorrow, I will continue to be careful in what I upload to various websites. I suggest you do the same.