Who owns what you post online?
Some Facebook users are copying and pasting the below post to their status. Many think this protects what they share online. That's not exactly the case, according to Matthew Smith, a specialist in Intellectual Property law, and a shareholder at Polsinelli Shughart law firm in the St. Louis area.
Here's an example of the post:
"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 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)."
Smith said when you take a picture and post it online, you still own the rights to the photo, but you're just giving permission to Facebook to host it on their site, and use it for some purposes. Those terms and conditions are most likely laid out in the site's agreement when you signed up for the site.
Smith said before you copy and paste an wording like this onto your own status, do a little research. He said even if you just Google a couple of the words from the post, it will usually bring up articles showing it's a hoax.
He said just because something is on the Internet, doesn't mean it's free. If someone right clicks, and saves a photo without permission, they could face consequences, especially if they try to sell it or use it for commercial purposes.
Check your terms and conditions of any social media site, like Facebook, before you agree to sign up.
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