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Once again the “place this long block of text in your status to protect yourself from Facebook’s corporate abuses” has been going around. Be aware these actually do nothing and serve NO real purpose. The latest one focuses on copyright. Read below:

In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, graphics, comics, paintings, 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).

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 If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status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

Note to everybody: Copyright does NOT work the way you think. In the first place, copyright is established when you put “pen to paper” or in this case type, you don’t need to do anything extra. So it isn’t necessary to post anything, anywhere to establish your copyright. BUT in the second place, you can sign those rights away when you agree to a user license. Most people don’t even read these user license agreements for personal use because you can’t use the service (like Facebook) unless you click agree. Libraries have to deal with the limits imposed by licensing agreements above and beyond copyright a lot and they are causing more challenges than ever. So far individuals are less aware of them, but that doesn’t mean they don’t effect your life. I hope the current standards for user licenses change, but until and unless they do  you can agree to the terms or not use the system, period. Read more details here:
http://www.snopes.com/computer/facebook/privacy.asp

Also while Facebook changes things and claims more rights periodically, it definitely isn’t that they are the only one that does. Most of those things you just click agree to are signing away some of your inherent rights. Your best defense right now is to actually read these statements and be aware exactly what it is you are agreeing to online.

By Sarah S. Uthoff, Reference Librarian

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