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Facebook Hoax: “In response to the new Facebook guidelines…”

Samyak Lalit | July 18, 2013 (Last update: February 7, 2015)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

Nowadays, a chain letter is doing rounds around world’s largest online social network asking readers to post it on their walls. I have seen it on walls of countless people!

In short, it’s a hoax. Here are the details:

The message “informs” the FB user that Facebook is not an “open capital entity” and that it could infringe the intellectual copyright of the user for financial gains. The chain letter is full of legal jargon to make users believe that it is a valid and “effective” letter. The letter explicitly says that the user who posts it on his/her wall holds copyright on all the material posted by him/her.

Here is a sample letter that I am talking about:

“Facebook is now a publicly traded entity. Unless you state otherwise, anyone can infringe on your right to privacy once you post to this site. It is recommended that you and other members post a similar notice as this, or you may copy and paste this version. If you do not post such a statement once, then you are indirectly allowing public use of items such as your photos and the information contained in your status updates.

PRIVACY NOTICE: Warning – any person and/or institution and/or Agent and/or Agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites, you do NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to my photos, and/or the comments made about my photos or any other “picture” art posted on my profile.

You are hereby notified that you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee , agent , student or any personnel under your direction or control.

The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law. UCC 1-103 1-308 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. (M)”

There is another version that is being circulated by FB users:

In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, graphics, comics, paintings, 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 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…

The matter of fact, unfortunately, is that assertion of one’s rights on intellectual property posted on Facebook wall is not so easy. Posting such a letter on your wall in no way affects the terms laid out in Facebook’s Terms  of Service.

SEE ALSO: Facebook Hoax: “Graphic App” and Your Privacy

When you post anything on Facebook, you’re legally bound only by the Terms of Service as defined by Facebook. You can read the TOS and if you do not agree with any of the clauses –simply don’t post anything on FB. Facebook, like any other website storing user content, is very clear about it. Creating an FB account and thereafter posting anything on Facebook should only be done if you agree with Facebook’s TOS. So, please, stop spreading such chain letters. These are merely hoaxes and in no way help you safeguard your copyright.


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