Who is Chelsea Chaney and why is she suing her school? Well, believe it or not, it’s because of a bikini clad picture of the young lady that is being used by a Georgia school to promote the issue of safety when posting pictures on the internet. What is most interesting about the whole lawsuit is that the girl is suing the school sans Facebook; the site that the photograph came from!
The ironic situation began when the director for Technology for the Fayette County Schools used a Facebook photo of a student in a red bikini during a district-wide seminar about the dangers of posting pictures on the internet.
The teenaged Chelsea, who filled out the red bikini, is now attempting to take the school to court because no one asked her permission.
The collage freshman said, “I was embarrassed. I was horrified. It never crossed my mind that this would ever, ever happen to me.” WSBTV in Atlanta. She posted the photo, which features her standing next to a cardboard cutout of Snoop Dogg with the idea that only her only friends and friends of friends on Facebook could see it.
Chaney is now suing for $2 million because she says she wants her claim to be taken seriously, saying that she did not give her permission for the photo to be used. Interestingly, she is not also suing Facebook. And if the young “embarrassed” teen looked a little more closely at the “terms and conditions” of the social networking site, she would soon drop her case against the school.
Because the current Facebook terms and conditions state that users grant Facebook “a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any [IP] content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (‘IP License’). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”
What all this means in “real” language is that once you post it, it is no longer really yours to control. But every Facebook patron should know that the only way to control who sees your pictures is by limiting your page’s access to your friends. The second you allow anyone else or your friend’s friends in on the photographs, you have no secrets.
The almost serendipitous irony of the photo being used for a seminar that deals with the “dangers of posting pictures on the internet” causing a legal lawsuit is too delicious for mere words. Until you factor in the bikini clad Chelsea Chaney starting a lawsuit sans Facebook.
Pardon me for being cynical (it’s a condition of getting older, like clogged arteries and wrinkles) if I don’t quite believe that an “average” teenager didn’t realise that Facebook owns your pic’s once they’re posted. Could the young ladies lawsuit really be for another reason?
Even though, Chaney’s attorney Pete Wellborn says, “Their idea that putting something on Facebook gives them a license to steal it and carte blanche to do with it what they did is wrong ethically, it’s wrong morally and it’s absolutely wrong legally.”
As a lawyer (not the noblest of vocations in the public’s eyes, just putting that out there) the fact that he doesn’t apparently get the rules of Facebook, something starts to smell pretty rotten about the whole case. It stands to reason that the lawsuit has to really be about self promotion or publicity.
Until this news hit the internet and other forms of media, no one apart from Chelsea Chaney’s friends (and friend’s of friends) and family knew who she was. Now the entire USA is at least aware of her name. It is a move that smacks of the problem child who seeks attention. “Look at me! Look at me!”
It will be interesting to see what kind of precedent the judge sets in this case, if indeed it ever reaches the courtroom. Does the Georgia school district need Chaney’s permission to use a photo she put out there that was, according to the terms and conditions on Facebook, anyones to nab?
According to one source on the internet, Chelsea Chaney is an alleged Dallas Cheerleader “wanna-be.” If this is true, than the idea of the “bikini” lawsuit sans Facebook makes sense. It then becomes less a case of “embarrassment” than a case of “remember my name, Dallas (or whoever she’s seeking to impress) I need the publicity. But we don’t necessarily believe the cheerleader accusation, because just like anything else that winds up on the net, the trolls also have to add their thoughts on the subject.
By Michael Smith