Facebook's New TOS Have Photographers Bailing

I was alerted to something via Twitter this morning that concerned me greatly. Photographers by the likes of Scott Bourne are bailing from Facebook after they (FB) recently changed a couple of lines in their Terms of Service. Some very important lines at that. For all of you who post images (or anything) on Facebook, the Terms of Service (TOS) have always granted substantial usage rights of that content to Facebook. Prior to the recent change, however, that license expired after you cancelled your FB account or removed the content. Not any more.

Licenses: "You hereby grant Facebook 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. You represent and warrant that you have all rights and permissions to grant the foregoing licenses."

FB users have been granting this license pretty much since day one. According to a blog post on The Consumerist, a couple of very important lines were recently removed which now grant FB license to your contect FOREVER.

REMOVED (from The Consumerist): "You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content."

If you post ANYTHING on Facebook, or similar sites, familiarize yourself with the Terms of Service. It doesn't sound like there's much we can do about content already posted on FB but, you can be sure, I'll be splattering any future images with watermarks not to be messed with!