Hey everybody! I'm Brandon, one of Alex's friends from Kentucky. I post on here occasionally in the comments section, so I thought I'd introduce myself before going on!I was the one that brought the new Facebook Terms of Service (TOS) to Alex's attention. Being a history (and possibly Pre-Law) major, I thought I'd elaborate a bit.What this new ToS states is that anything you post on Facebook becomes their property. Forever. If you take it down, they maintain the rights to it (the back up all deleted accounts on external servers) until the end of time. This includes art, quotations, pictures, videos, event information, or anything else you post or put up on Facebook. It also stipulates that you are agreeing to something known as Mandator Binding Arbitration. This means that if you try to fight anything facebook does in court, you're not allowed to; you, by agreeing to the TOS, have agreed to settle out of court with Facebook's legal team. That means there's no way to legally fight this.To be clear though, if you post artwork, they don't own the Original art; just what you post. Therefore, the best way to protect yourself is to either A: not post art or B: post low-res pictures that can't be used for advertising purposes.What does this all mean?Say Alex posts a drawing (forgive my lack of artistic knowledge and or talent) of batman. Say, hypothetically, it's so good that DC Publishers sees it, and decides they want to use it for a comic cover. This comic ends up being a best-seller. All DC has to do is ask Facebook for rights to the image, probably with a fee of somekind. They don't have to pay alex a dime, credit him in any way, or anything; they just have to Credit Facebook and give them their pay, because the image now belongs to Facebook. He tries to sue, the judge sees the Arbitration Clause in the TOS, and sends you to arbitrate with Facebooks legal team, where they will then function as the Judge and Jury in your case.If you have any questions, feel free to ask! I'm something of a nut for Patent and IP law, so I should be able to answer any questions you have about this!
I'm pretty sure this is just to protect them in ownership cases.Though the TOS does give them the power to do so, they will only seize and use any artwork uploaded to the site for advertisement or Facebook-related promotion. And their uploader automatically resizes artwork to crumby low-resolution sizes anyway.I've been sent this message several times and I really don't see the fuss.
Miles, you're absoloutley correct. They have released statements saying that your stuff will not be used commercially... but this is in no way binding, and they're still allowed to do with it as they please.UPDATEIn response to the massive backlash, Facebook has returned to their old TOS for an undetermined amount of time. You all can relax :D