Have you seen those Facebook copyright notices show up in your newsfeed? People are posting what appears to be a disclaimer, proclaiming their pictures and content are copyrighted material.
The disclaimer starts out saying, “In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, graphics, comics, paintings, photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!”
The notice goes on to state that anyone can copy and paste the text and post it on their Facebook wall, forbidding Facebook to “disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against [the user] on the basis of this profile and/or its contents.”
Turns out, it’s not true. Users have no legal copyright protection on Facebook. According to Facebook’s terms of service that users agree to when first signing up, any content posted on the site is not protected. This means your pictures and content can be used by others without paying you royalties.
If that idea doesn’t sit well with you, it’s best not to post anything you don’t want anyone else to use.
The issue is being challenged in court. The courts have already ruled that people can’t go to other people’s websites and use their original art, pictures, music or videos without their permission — Facebook currently is the exception.