There are heated discussions about Facebook and their new terms of service (TOS). But not much has changed between the old and new versions. In Facebook owns your content. All of it. Forever. you can compare the old and new terms of service. Even the old terms of service gave Facebook the license to use your data any way they see fit. The major change is that the new terms of service gives Facebook the right to continue to use your data there even if you leave Facebook.
The word own is not correct, the FB TOS gives them “an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license”. It also limits their use to “in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof.”
Chris Brogan brings up what we all should consider, Wake Up to How You Share on the Web.
If you’re freaked out by Facebook, go back and take a serious look at ALL the places you’re using on the web and ask yourself what the impact of them owning your stuff really is. It’s not what you think. It’s either worse or a non-issue, depending on how you see things.
In other words, do not join if you do not like the terms. Or at least be careful about what you store in their system.
Update February 8, 2009.
Mashable reports this: Breaking: Facebook Reverts to Previous Terms of Service. There is quote from the Facebook blog, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says:
Going forward, we’ve decided to take a new approach towards developing our terms. We concluded that returning to our previous terms was the right thing for now. As I said yesterday, we think that a lot of the language in our terms is overly formal and protective so we don’t plan to leave it there for long.
When logging in to Facebook today, this text showed up:
Still – read Chris Brogan’s post above and consider how you handle your information on the internet.