Have you ever purchased a ticket to a Major League baseball game or other sporting event? If so, have you ever read the small print on the back? Probably not, because it’s next to impossible to read it. But even if you could read it, you probably didn’t. There’s a lot of legal mumbo jumbo on the back designed to protect the rights of the team.
One thing you’ll notice is that by purchasing the ticket and entering the park, you are forgoing the right to sue for any damages, should you get injured in any way by anything before, during, or after the game. In other words, if a broken bat hits you in the head, tough luck.
Let’s say you disapprove of this. You could stand at the game, holding a sign that says,
“If I get hit by a foul ball, a broken bat, or get injured in any way while I’m in the stadium, I reserve the right to sue whomever I please for damages.”
You’re covered, right?
Wrong. Regardless of what you say, you’re bound by the small print which you never read on the ticket that you purchased. Nothing you say or write can change that. Oh, and they also have the right to take video or photos of you at the game and use them at their discretion.
Now, let’s go to Facebook. When you signed on, you agreed to the fine print set forth by Facebook in a rather long and lengthy set of documents called the Facebook Terms of Service. Nothing you say or do on or off Facebook can change that. You can’t declare yourself immune to the stipulations set forth in the TOS.
And yet that’s what many think they are doing as they post this on Facebook:
In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times! (Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws. By the present communique, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute). Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status update.
Sounds pretty legal and formidable, eh? Too bad it’s just flat out wrong.
Once you set up an account on Facebook, you have agreed to all that small print.
Don’t worry; Facebook doesn’t really own your soul, or your house, or your kids. Trust me, I’ve been trying to get Facebook to take my kids off my hands for a few years. It doesn’t work.
But if you are really concerned about privacy, just be careful what you post. Or don’t post anything at all. It’s like the baseball game: if you don’t want to get hurt, or have your picture taken, don’t go to the game.
And for the sake of all that is good, decent, and even remotely sane, don’t go posting these sorts of things on Facebook. Please?
- How Facebook Could Become Irrelevant (waxingunlyrical.com)
- Stop Trying to Game Facebook’s Edgerank (inklingmedia.net)
- The Three Things Marketers Keep Forgetting About Facebook (inklingmedia.net)
- The Problem with Scheduling Posts on Facebook and Twitter (inklingmedia.net)
- 7 Little Known Tricks to Maximize Your Facebook Page (v3im.com)