With today’s outrage over Facebook’s newly altered Terms of Service at its peak, I figured I’d do a quick comparison of their terms of service as regards user-uploaded content to the terms specified by other social networking sites, just to see if said outrage is fully justified. It looks as though the finger-pointing at the Bush robots.txt file wasn’t justified, for instance, and I was guilty of spreading that story.
Conclusion? Go ahead and be outraged. Facebook’s claims to your content are extraordinarily grabby and arrogant.
She then breaks down the ways Facebook's TOS is way beyond what other sites use. Her objections come down to these two:
- No one else besides Facebook keeps the license to your stuff permanently, even after you have deleted your account.
- Facebook claims it has a license to any content on your other websites if you post a "Share this on Facebook" link on it.
The way I read the FB TOS, it's worse than that: I think they're claiming a license to any material you link to from FB. But whatever; it's incredibly overreaching.
Update 2/18/09: FB reverts to the old TOS, for now.