Q&A with Margaret Millikin
Facebook copyright post useless
Q: Some social media devotees have been posting a copyright notice on their Facebook wall, claiming copyrights in the posted content in retaliation against a purported new Facebook policy. They are concerned that Facebook will own their photos, illustrations and writings posted on their wall. Is there any truth to this?
A: No. Facebook does not claim to own your postings. In fact, Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities expressly states that the account holder owns the information they post and determines how it is shared and used through their account settings. The account holder, as a condition of creating the account, grants Facebook a license to use any posted content. The license ends when you delete your content or your account. But remember, you control your account settings and if you allow others to access and copy your content, then the content probably lives on, and so does the license to Facebook.
Q: Does a status update claiming copyrights provide copyright protection?
A: No. Under U.S. copyright law, copyrights arise at the moment of creation, and there is no legal requirement that must be taken to assert ownership in the created work. However, the creator of a work must register the copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office to receive certain benefits that otherwise are not accorded if the work is not registered. Posting a claim of copyright on your Facebook page does not negate the license that an account holder gave Facebook at the time of setting up the account.
Q: How could you properly protect the content on your profile?
A: Facebook's policy outlines ways to protect your content through privacy settings. The policy expressly states that you own all of your posted content and that Facebook only has a right to use it. Of course, you will own only the content that you actually created or purchased. If you post content that you do not own, other laws and provisions in the Facebook policy will come into play. Rest assured, however, that Facebook does not claim to own your content simply because you post it on your wall.
PAULA BURKES, Business Writer