The Daily Telegraph (not my usual read!), published an article that drew my attention. It was actually written in January 2013 but I cannot find any reason to doubt things have changed. It was titled, “Facebook terms and conditions: why you don’t own your online life“.
I have been concerned about the amount of information that I post particularly photos and copyright. So I looked into it. This quote below is from the article and relates to Twitter.
A photo posted on Twitter remains the intellectual property of the user but Twitter’s terms give the company “a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense)”. In practice, that gives Twitter almost total control over the image and the ability to do just about anything with it. The company claims the right to use, modify or transmit it your photo any way.
Callum Sinclair, partner in the Intellectual Property and Technology group of law firm, DLA Piper, says that Twitter’s terms, to which every new member must agree, “grant extremely broad rights over your content… With these terms companies are saying ‘you own your content, but we can just use it however we want.'”
Jim Killock, director of the Open Rights Group, a non-profit group who campaign for users rights online, believes that many terms of service are confusing and misleading for users. He says: “A lot of the time it really isn’t transparent what these agreements mean. People haven’t really understood what they have entered into. Often companies will over-egg what they need, and it’s a land grab for users’ rights and content.”
Just a pointer to be wary of but this comment about LinkedIn causes even greater concern.
The most striking example of such a ‘land grab’ can be seen on professional networking site LinkedIn. LinkedIn makes broad claims over users’ content, giving it the ability to “copy, prepare derivative works of, improve, distribute, publish, remove, retain, add, process, analyze, use and commercialise, in any way now known or in the future discovered…” LinkedIn applies this claim not only to users content, but also all data, concepts or even ideas passed through their service.
Guess I’ll be closing down my LinkedIn account!
Any comments or thoughts or if anybody knows what the current position is please comment below. Thanks for reading.