Facebook users around the globe have been fooled by the “copyright notice” hoax. People were encouraged to place a notice on their profile statuses to say that everything they share is theirs, and the social media giant has no permission to use it. It also states that nobody else has permission to use the content that a person posts.
It all starts with a notice from a company called Channel 13 News, and was due to Facebook becoming a public entity. All that term really means is that it can be traded on the stock market, and has been like that for a number of years now.
The “copyright notice” has been branded as a waste of time for a number of reasons. First of all, the social media site never lays claim to the copyright of content posted by its users. In fact, on the Frequently Asked Questions page, there is a section specifically about the copyright of images and videos. They remain the property of individuals sharing them.
Second of all, posting this notice as a Facebook status is not going to override the terms and conditions people agreed to when signing up to the site. The terms and conditions are updated regularly, and by continuing to use the site people automatically agree to them. The terms do state that the company has the right to use content on the site through a “non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license.”
The “copyright notice” on Facebook is definitely a hoax. There is no need to copy and paste it as a status, as it will do nothing in a court of law. Those who are concerned about the tech company using their photos and videos should remove them from the site. This removes them from the company’s servers, and means they can no longer use them.
A number of individuals have created their own mock status since the hoax. Since the hoax status starts with “better safe than sorry,” others have started that way and told people to stop posting things on Facebook. That is the best way to make sure images are not used in a way that they have not deemed acceptable.
Similar hoaxes have occurred in the past. In June 2012, another one went viral, causing thousands of people to be caught out by it. The same thing happened just five months later. It is a hoax that Washington Post believes will never die.
This is not the only type of hoax that has occurred on the site. There is one on a regular basis, whether it is about a change to terms and conditions on the site, announcements that Facebook is going to start charging users for their profiles or about celebrity deaths. Some of the hoaxes are more ridiculous, and could be taken as early April Fool’s pranks. One earlier this month was about feeling weightless temporarily due to the planetary alignment.
It leads to the saying “do not believe everything read online.” People like to have fun, while others act maliciously. Hoaxes are created out of these, and the Facebook “copyright notice” is just one to kick the year off with a bang.
By Alexandria Ingham
Photo by Maria Elena – Flickr License