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Why the Facebook Copyright Notice Hoax is No Laughing Matter
By: Christine Geraci
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I've seen a lot of laughing and ridiculing going around Facebook in response to well-meaning but misinformed friends who posted the infamous "copyright notice."

You've probably seen it. Here's the text:

"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!

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 If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status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

Yes, it's a hoax. And here's New York Times tech blogger David Pogue's very good explanation of why. But no, you should not laugh at people who post it.

Although I'm fairly certain it won't be treated as such, this should be a wake-up call for Facebook and its users. People are so confused, so distrusting, and so leery of this company that short of signing off for good (which, let's face it, probably won't happen 99.9 percent of the time because it's so ingrained in people's daily routines), the only exercise of power they can think of is to share a very official-sounding declaration of hooey. 

As a business, Facebook doesn't have too much formidable competition, so I can see why they wouldn't care much about a good chunk of their users being concerned about privacy. To its credit, Facebook did make a bunch of changes, although it could have done a better job of communicating about them. But the social seas can and will change. I'm beginning to think that all we need is the "100th monkey" (or in Facebook's case, maybe the one-hundred-millionth?) to finally make this company realize that it needs to make communication and customer service a much higher priority.



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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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