21 February 2009

Clear English Could Be a Big Winner in the Facebook Affair

(New York Times)
by Saul Hansell . Over the last few days, a lot of Facebook users were left wondering whether the company had ambitions to turn their goofy photos into a coffee table book and adapt their wall postings into a Broadway play. As best as I can tell, Facebook has no such plans. But that's hard to tell when you read that its user agreement allows it to "use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and distribute (through multiple tiers)," all the words, pictures and everything else created by its users. When you sort through it, the fierce reaction from Facebook's users may indicate a new and useful sensitivity to legal fine print. See also Whose data is it anyway? (BBC) and Facebook: You Own All Your Data. Period. (But See You at the Next Privacy Uproar) (TechCrunch).