Facebook CC Integration/Eng Info

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Revision as of 21:20, 6 May 2009 by Mig29x (talk | contribs) (Changes to the ToS)
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A-==Mini FAQ==-

1. What are we doing here/what is the purpose of this group? We are changing Facebook so it allows us to choose a creative commons licenses for our works (in addition to the old “all rights reserved” license).

2. But, what is Creative Commons? We have this really good and little summary http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Facebook_CC_Integration/BoRR/BasicInfo

3. Why now? Facebook now is listening to their users. (the reason is explained here http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Facebook_CC_Integration/Why_Now , so we need to get organized and ask for what we believe will improve FB and Internet.

4. But can we do it? Yes, we think so, and here is an explanation of what could be a way to do it: http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Facebook_CC_Integration/Facebook_Licensing

5. But there’s an problem with the current ToS of Facebook? Yes, we have a problem with the ToS, but as the license given to FB is non-exclusive, we believe we can still do #4. The problem with the license is explained here http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Facebook_CC_Integration/Facebook_ToS

6. What can I do right now? So you know this is a good thing and you want to help... good, there’s 4 things you can do now:

-You can invite all your fellows CC-fans, we are getting 7000 people here. here’s why http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Facebook_CC_Integration/Facebook_Group -Also we have a Cause, so you can be there also (and invite other people) http://apps.facebook.com/causes/232592?m=81fdef5b -Help in the wiki and in the forums. -Please Join or make your regional facebook group.

7. How I know what is going on? -we post news every other day.. so stay tuned. -Also, we send a message if something important is happen. -Finally you can ask the administrators. Old News Here: http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Facebook_CC_Integration/BoRR/News

CC Growing in facebook

If you saw the new ToS (point 12.3 see http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=67758697570&topic=7569 ) 7000 people is the magic number to gain the possibility of change almost anything. (If we have the chance to change the ToS with 7000 people, then we also have the possibility to include CC)

Building a Strong Movement

The group grew to be the second most biggest CC group on FB. That exciting piece of news also leads to a not so good situation:

The lack of country CC groups and people inside each one.

We have only a little more than 20 regional groups, with the notorious absent of countries like Brazil, Mexico, Germany.. well a lot of really big and not so big countries

And that's a problem, why? there's a lot of CC people there waiting to take part on something that they believe, but they don't know the existence of a local group to do that.. and because of that, they also don't know about this effort that we are making here.

So I would like to propose the following: make your country group if it isn't created yet or join your local CC group.

So we can help us to connect with us. that's really important.

We hope that in the following week instead of 20 groups we will have 100 groups of CC commons and that also will bring attention to Zuckerberg an his people.

What do you say?

These are the CC groups already on FB: please join them

If you want to make one for your country, please check that haven't been made and also I suggest two things: Put the name of the country in the title and make the group 'global' (available to all facebook), so communications among groups can exist.

and last: making a group does not mean you have to lead it :-) but a group can gather people and that's the first step.

CC Licensing issue

What are the alternatives to use Creative Commons in Facebook.


Changes to the ToS

The problems with the current licensing options in Facebook

The Problem

Quote problematic sections from current Facebook TOS (revised September 23, 2008 Current Facebook TOS (dated from Sept. 23 2008) is (CC from Amanda French)

You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to (a) 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), any User Content you (i) Post on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof subject only to your privacy settings or (ii) enable a user to Post, including by offering a Share Link on your website and (b) to use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising, each of (a) and (b) on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof.

The current proposal of new terms says something similar (see: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=67758697570&topic=7569):

2.3 For content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos and videos), 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, copy, publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works of (“use”) any content you post on or in connection with Facebook. This license ends when you delete your content or your account.


So, what are you giving to Facebook in section 2.3? Let's look at it one piece at a time:

"For content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos and videos),"

All created material, whether it is words, images, sounds, etc... is automatically covered by copyright once it is "fixed in a tangible medium". In other words, set down in something that won't go away, such as written on a page, saved on disk, recorded on tape or in a computer's memory. You don't need to do anything to have a copyright. It exists from the moment you create something. (Registration is helpful if you want to take legal action, but it isn't "technically" required.) Since you created it, from your mind, or "intellect", it is your "Intellectual Property". Copyright is literally the "right to copy" this intellectual property.

"you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings:"

Since it is yours, nobody is allowed to do anything with it without your permission. This is you giving permission to Facebook to do certain things. The things that follow are general, but they are limited by your privacy and application settings. In other words, they can't do something that you have specifically said they couldn’t via those settings.

" you grant us a non-exclusive, "

Just because you gave permission to Facebook, doesn't mean you can't give it to other people to! This is very important.

"transferable, "

If the ownership of Facebook itself changes, these rights can be "transferred" to the person who bought them. When rights transferred, the former right holder gives them up, and only the new one can act on them.


Facebook can give these rights to others. This is also important, because without this, Facebook could never actually share your stuff - even with your friends. The thing to remember is that this is subject to your settings, as described earlier.This is especially important with regards to the "applications" you may use on Facebook - these are not Facebook's and therefore in order to allow them to work, Facebook needs to delegate (sub-license) these rights to the application providers.

" royalty-free,"

You aren't charging Facebook for the use of this property. "Royalties" are what are paid to the creative types by the publishers in exchange for their permission to actually do the publishing. Since you really only want Facebook to share your stuff as you direct, you don't want to charge them to do it.

" worldwide"

Facebook is everywhere!

" license "

This is just the legal term for "permission". That's why those things you have to go to the DMV to get every few years are called "Driver's Licenses". When you pass their test, and pay their fee, the government gives you permission, or a license, to drive a car.

"to use,"

This is the general thing you are giving Facebook permission to do. It is further clarified as:

" copy,"

Because even the act of moving a picture from Facebook's storage disk to your friend's PC is legally considered copying, you need to give them permission to do that.

" publicly perform or display,"

This means Facebook can actually show your stuff to someone else. Like your friends. Obviously, you need them to be able to do that.


Because the act of giving the picture to your friend is distinct from the act of just making a copy or showing it, Facebook needs this right as well.

" modify, translate, and create derivative works of"

Do you like having thumbnails of your pictures in a gallery? Guess what - that's a modification. It is smaller than your original picture. Similarly, once that modification is created as a file, that file is considered a "derivative work" of your original picture, so they need the right to do that, too. This can also be considered a "translation", but in some cases there may also be a literal translation involved. Do you want your friend in France to be able to read your messages in French? This gives Facebook the right to translate them for you. (And yes, saving the translated text counts as creating a derivative work, too!)

" (“use”)"

This is just collecting the detailed terms back into a simple word that can be used elsewhere in the agreement. Thus, when you see the word "use", you know that it includes all of the terms defined above.

" any content you post on or in connection with Facebook."

These permissions apply to all of the stuff that you upload or otherwise enter into Facebook, whether directly, or through other channels. (e.g. a Twitter feed.)

"This license ends when you delete your content or your account."

Once you take something off of Facebook, they can't do anything with it anymore.

Analysis - Problems

The First Problem is 2.3 is totally opposite of the proposed second Facebook Principle, which says "People should have the freedom to decide with whom they will share their information"

But such an open statement (current and proposal) leaves it open to abuse.

Who is to say that "transferrable" doesn't mean that Facebook can transfer the content and license to third parties? If it was meant in the case of the company changing hands, it should specifically state that.

Who is to say that the derivative works are only "thumbnails" etc? Who is to say that they are not modifying them and selling them through other sites? It should be explicitly defined what they intend to do with the content.

Who is to say the "distribute" means just to distribute to other Facebook users and not to third party companies?

There is NO REASON why Facebook cannot extend this to explain their intentions more clearly (or further define the individual words/phrases in laymen's terms, as you have done, for the benefit of the users that do not understand this legalese).

Copy, distribute, modify, create derivative works, and sublicense are much broader terms, and while they do need to be circumscribed by extra verbiage (e.g. the reference to application and privacy settings), they can't be replaced because they describe precisely, legally, what Facebook needs the right to do in order for their service to operate.

Response to Concerns

In response to your concerns, no, Facebook does not have the right to use content in any way other than to display it on their website. The display on their website is subject to your own privacy settings, so they can't use, or show your photograph to anyone outside your friends list if that's the privacy setting that you've selected.

Without the express granting of a commercial license, Facebook is not allowed to use their users' intellectual property for any commercial purpose.

The license granted DOES only apply to Facebook and the User, because they are the only two parties participating within the agreement. Any sublicenses granted by Facebook are still governed by the Primary license, thus continuing to negate any semblance of a commercial license.

Proposed Solutions

While it is clear that the 'non-exclusive' license granted to Facebook by users does not exclude users also licensing their content under a Creative Commons license, we request the language "subject only to your privacy settings" be changed to "subject only to your privacy and license settings", and that license selection interface be added to user profiles and content uploads.

This is because, Facebook users should have the ability to choose not only with whom they want to share their content, but whether to grant commercial license or not, as well as whether to allow copy and remix or not.

All the 2.* clause in the ToS should be written in a Human readable (no Lawyer-readable) format and with enough detail to avoid misunderstandings.

In the Meantime

What can we do to use Creative Commons in the Meantime

This could be seen as publicity like: “how to use creative commons in facebook w/o creative commons in facebook "

Newsletters & Messages

Older News

Older News

Other Info

Basic info on Creative Commons

Feb 2009 Proposal

Why Now?