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Facebook copyright status hoax debunked

by on27 November 2012

Everyone’s a lawyer nowadays

Droves of Facebook users around the world are spamming timelines with a copyright notice, which is supposed to prevent the evil social network from using their data and content. Of course, the viral notice is a hoax, much like a chain letter.

The notice implies that Facebook has recently changed some copyright provisions and asserts a user’s copyright over their own content. This is not the first such hoax and this time around even Facebook is telling users that it’s a silly fake, to no avail.

It’s really hard to figure out who comes up with this stuff or why. Paranoid conspiracy theorists come to mind, however, bear in mind that lawyers go to law school, while cranks go to rehab.

There is only one way of keeping Facebook’s hands off your content – deleting one’s profile.

Here’s the full “copyright notice,” in pseudo-legalese:


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 lawsBy the present communiqué, 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 If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates.

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