Like clockwork, every couple of months some “fact” about Facebook goes viral. Facebook is going to start charging you money! Copy and paste this status or Facebook will cook your children! As soon as you upload them, Facebook owns your photos!
That last one is especially common, so let’s talk about it.
What Rights Does Facebook Have to Your Photos?
Let’s start by getting on the same basic page: no, Facebook doesn’t own your photos. That’s not how copyright or real life works. They’re still your photos, not Facebook’s. In fact, it’s right in Facebook’s terms of service: “You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook.“
Got it? Good. Myth busted. Now let’s address what rights Facebook does have with your photos once you upload them. Here’s the relevant bit of the terms of service:
You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:
- For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
- When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar…