Facebook photo privacy question

it’s that time of year again: everyone posting their totally meaningless “i hereby declare facebook is not allowed to use my stuff” copy-and-past letters that mean utterly nothing.

i understand facebook has unilateral rights to use your images–and even sell them–as per their user agreement:

my question is about the bolded portion:
if you change your privacy settings to “friends only” for all your content, does that mean facebook cannot publicly use (or sell) your images?

furthermore, how does this work, legally? facebook says YOU retain copyright to your intellectual property, but THEY have explicit permission to use it as they want as long as it’s on their IP. I have an artist friend who keeps finding his paintings on various facebook games and applications (and sometimes off-site). they are taking and selling his paintings, as per the quote above, and third-parties are altering the images for their advertisements. both facebook AND the third-party are using this artist’s work to generate profit, but he has not made a dime.
if he is the true copyright holder, how is this legal?

and again, will changing your privacy settings off “public” limit facebook’s ability to do such things?

i found this link.

in it, facebook says in non-ambiguous terms YOU own what you post and they cannot use it without permission.
again, dubious–as the terms of use explicitly announce you PERMIT use.


ok i think i have answered this satisfactorily. if i understand all this correctly, facebook can really only use stuff you have set as “public.” their IP license is both limited by privacy settings and account/content deletion (which in both cases is nearly impossible to control–they can archive content so it is hosted to their IP in perpetuity, plus any proliferation of “shares” make it intractable by the original owner).

it seems the solution would be to set your privacy for content to “friends only.”

if anyone else has input or if i am reading this incorrectly, let me know.

To anyone who is an aspiring or actual professional artists, writer, photographer, painter, illustrator, (creator of stuff which can be posted on Facebook rather than sold…), if you’re posting it on Facebook rather than selling it, you’re doing it wrong.

it’s a catch 22. facebook is THE most useful networking tool maybe in the history of all time. by keeping an online portfolio there, you will reach thousands of more people. however, ^^all the junk from above. so it’s a conundrum.

the artist i know who has found his work used in ads elsewhere–
now that i am digging into this, it appears he has all his general settings to “public.” so people are poaching his work and using it as they want…it may have nothing to do with facebook allowing it or not (as per my last link). *HE *is for sure doing it wrong.

at any rate, it would seem if you don’t want your stuff lost in the aethers of the 'net, be careful where and how you show it online.

I attended a talk by a somewhat well-known fantasy artist a while ago. Several of her pictures are incredibly famous and found everywhere, even if most people have no idea who she is.

She mentioned that she constantly found her work being ripped off and added to all sorts of products for sale in the USA. Seriously, if the most copyright-controlled country in the world has a problem stopping illegal appropriation in manufactured goods inside its borders, what do you really expect to happen online when anyone can grab anything?

(Analog magazine many years ago printed the chapter about engineers from Scott Adams’ book - someone had copied the text onto the inernet, without attribution, then it was taken and submitted to Analog for one of their columns. So sometimes misuse is unintentional and second-hand - once something is floating around on the internet, figuring out who originally owns it is always a challenge… If you don’t want it out there, only publish with solid watermarks - assuming that would stop people too. )