Wholesome Marketing Ideas, Bite Size

Wholesome marketing ideas, bite size

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Facebook spurious legal notice

This week you probably saw some of your friends on FB post this nonsensical statement:
"...in response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, photos, drawings, illustrations, paintings, audio, and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention).
For commercial use of the above, my written consent is needed at all times!
Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws.) By the present communiqué, 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 If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates..."

The fact is, you entered into a contract with FB the moment you opened an account. As far as content you post on FB goes, your contract states that:

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

So, FB can use any content you post online in just about any way it deems fit (so don’t be surprised if your photographs appear in an advertisement for a product you have no connection to, which is shown to your friends without your knowledge).

But the fact that so many people posted the spurious notice on their wall suggests a large latent demand for privacy, and for FB to get off its users backs.  It also suggests a level of ignorance on the part of FB users about the uses of their data.

Eventually, over the next few years, users will become more aware of the use of their data (indeed, this week's hoax legal notice is an encouraging sign); and the lines of data use will become clearer. Consumers will demand greater accountability from holders of their data, and control over the uses of their own data. Governments will, as usual, be behind that curve.

And then, someone will suggest a simple market solution to the problem: have users pay for their privacy. Right now, advertisers pay for our use of FB. What if FB were to offer an advertising-free version for, say, $99 per year, with an additional option of $250 per year if you don’t want your data used for marketing purposes – would you pay for it?

Now check out the list of privacy protections Facebook has agreed to offer European users (but not users elsewhere). But some European users want more.

Meanwhile, in North America, those think they have a right to privacy by posting the legal notice on their Facebook wall have become the laughing stock of those that have given up on privacy:


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