Author of the book 101 Little Instructions for Surviving Your Divorce, Barbara has published articles and short stories in collections like the Cup of Comfort series. Her first novel, The Elf Queen, is available from http://Amazon.com and Dragonfly Publishing; the sequel, The Elf Child, comes out in 2011. Also in 2011, Deliverance, a romance from TWRP. By day, a family law attorney, at night, parent to three special needs kids, and a constant novelist. Find out more at http://awalkabout.wordpress.comView all articles by barbara mountjoy
If you host your own domain, clearly you own whatever you put there. You can put up and take down with impunity, and you can prosecute others for using your work without credit. But if you put your work/posts/notes/thoughts on domains owned by others, there may be some issue as to who has final rights to them, as this week's flurry over Facebook has revealed.
The Facebook Terms of Service once provided that Facebook had "an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and distribute (through multiple tiers), any User Content you (i) Post on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof subject only to your privacy settings or (ii) enable a user to Post, including by offering a Share Link on your website and (b) to use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising, each of (a) and (b) on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof."
Up until last week, apparently that license expired once you removed your content from the site. Now the TOS have changed so there is no expiration-- meaning Facebook can use anything you post...in perpetuity?
Frankly, there probably isn't a big future in passing on information about whether the user cut friends from his list to get a free Whopper, or what music you're listening to at any given time, or even if you were in a bad mood on any given day.
But consider this situation from the Japanese Internet forum 2channel, where a man who rescued a woman from a drunk harasser on a subway train posted his story. It appealed to readers so much that they encouraged him to ask the woman out after she gave him an expensive thank-you gift.
What about the lonelygirl15 drama? What if YouTube had decided to claim their license to that and make some money? Or bloggers who draw daily comics? Or writers, who post poems and bits of fiction? If they suddenly hit the big time, should the social networking sites then have the opportunity to make a few bucks in a "We Knew Them Back Then" segment?
Social networks are multiplying across the Internet, and many fail. Your data is still trapped within those failed networks for some owner to find. Groups on all sorts of topics are creating their own social forums, like writersmarket.com Community for writers of all sorts, Wellsphere for medical/health concerns, the Experience Project for people of--well, just about anything. Internet users are encouraged to join up in nearly every area of interest, and start posting all sorts of personal information, photos, blogs and more.
But Facebook's situation is a very public warning for a problem many never even see. Writer Monica Valentinelli has a number of suggestions to help the social networker/blogger/Twitterer be more cautious and protect what's theirs. Read any Terms of Service for the organizations you join, and don't take the risk of posting anything you aren't ready to lose.
Spread The Word
- Movie Review - Ghost Rider: The Spirit Of Vengeance (2012)
- Movie Review (counter) - The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (2010)
- Video Game Review - Ghostbusters: The Video Game
- Calling all Browncoats!
- No Twitter Service? Oh the Pain, the Pain...
- Have We Reached the End of the Internet?
- Google Search: Too Expensive for the Environment?
- How Many of Your Friends are Worth Saving?
- Second Life Crimes, Divorces Mirror Real Life
- Privacy on the Net: Easy as a Click
- Social Networking Sites Come of Age
- Love and Marriage, in True Geek Style
- Concert of Collaboration: Making Music Together
- Keeping the Net Neutral