Facebook refutes hoax on copyrights

After a hoax post went viral, Facebook has reassured its users that they, not the company, own the copyrights to the content they post on the social network.

Over the weekend, a number of users on the site began reposting the viral status update proclaiming that users, not Facebook, own the copyrights to their content. The post implies that Facebook owns the copyright and users have to make a legal declaration to regain it.

“In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details,” the viral post says. “For commercial use of the above, my written consent is needed at all times!”

The post is similar to others that have floated around in the past, particularly after Facebook’s initial public offering in May. What appears to have set off the latest viral post was an announcement by Facebook last week that it was proposing to amend parts of its privacy policy.

But the policy change involves Facebook users’ rights to vote on proposed changes in its site governance, not the copyrights for their content.

Facebook’s copyright terms remain the same as those on the terms of service that users agree to when they join the site.

Those terms say users own the copyright to their content but license it to Facebook so that the social network can share it with your friends.

“If you upload a photo and share it with your friends, we’ll make that photo available and distribute it to your friends,” a Facebook spokesman said. “And, when you delete a photo, we delete it too.”

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