Facebook

Twitter

iTunes

RSS

HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

« DWI Suspect Is a Drug Counselor | Main | Suspected Shoplifter Dies After Confrontation with Walmart Employees »
Monday
Nov262012

Facebook 'Copyright' Warning Is a Hoax

Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- "In response to the new Facebook guidelines, I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional 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!"

You may have seen that very message pop up in your Facebook feed. The message has been making the rounds on the social network. It encourages people to copy and paste the text and post it on their own walls if they want to be placed "under protection of copyright laws."

It's a frightful message and those worried that Facebook will own their photos or other media are posting it -- unaware that it is a hoax. Here's the truth: Facebook doesn't own your media and there is no such thing as the Berner Convention.

"We have noticed some statements that suggest otherwise and we wanted to take a moment to remind you of the facts -- when you post things like photos to Facebook, we do not own them," Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said in a statement. "Under our terms (https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms), you grant Facebook permission to use, distribute, and share the things you post, subject to the terms and applicable privacy settings."

Brad Shear, a Washington-area attorney and blogger who is an expert on social media, said the message was "misleading and not true." He said that when you agree to Facebook's terms of use you provide Facebook a "non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any content you post. You do not need to make any declarations about copyright issues since the law already protects you.  The privacy declaration [in this message] is worthless and does not mean anything."

This isn't the first time a message like this has popped up on Facebook. A similar message made the rounds in June and a few years ago as well.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio