If you’ve logged onto Facebook within the last week, you’ve noticed the rash of status updates that read like this:
In response to the new Facebook guidelines* I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, writings, music, recordings, photographs, and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above, my written consent is needed at all times! By the present communique, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).
*Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status update (Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws.).
It’s a veritable LegalZoom out there as people scramble to protect their privacy rights. The only bummer is, they’re not. Posting this accomplishes nothing, aside from perhaps making it appear like you could teach Judge Judy a thing or two.
According to Snopes, this claim has been circulating for a few years now; what drove this meme’s resurgence among my friends this Thanksgiving is not entirely clear.
“Open capital entity” or not, Facebook can dictate whatever privacy rights they please. And historically those have amounted to:
There are no retroactive do-overs. There is no protecting the intellectual property you post on Facebook. We all made a deal with that devil when we signed up for our free accounts.
Of course, if it’s any help, the real way Facebook wants to exploit you is not by swiping your hilarious postings about Monday mornings–they’re all about your data. Who you are, what you like, where you live–with the right algorithm, these innocuous factoids can be woven together to paint a rich portrait of who you are as a consumer and help clever advertising professionals find yet another way for you to consider purchasing their clients’ services.
Hmm…maybe that doesn’t make you feel better. Welcome to the brave new world.