“By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing.”
Now, how many of the millions of Facebook’s users know this? Do they think they are communicating with their network of friends and friend’s friends, which granted may be a pretty large group, or do they understand that unlike the Las Vegas cliché, what is said or displayed on Facebook doesn’t stay in Facebook?
The benefits of connectivity and interaction from social networking venues are evident – but shouldn’t we all start taking a serious look at the risks and weigh them against the benefits when we post? Shouldn’t the social networking sites do a better job of explaining prominently their policies and the reasons for them? And shouldn’t users get more choice in how their information is used? Shouldn’t these sites take leadership roles in the ongoing privacy debates regarding web and other digital content?
I think so.