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Facebook Modifies Guidelines, Clueless Thousands Cut and Paste Response Citing Berne Convention

A funny thing happens whenever Facebook does anything. People lose it. Change the layout of the profile page, go crazy. Add a new feature, go crazy. Change privacy or use guidelines, REALLY go crazy. But the denizens of Facebook are not quite like everyone else. In their case, "go crazy" means cutting and pasting a worthless paragraph and posting it in a comment to Facebook's note responding to user feedback with proposed changes.

It would be funny if it weren't so ridiculous. I honestly wonder if some Facebook users pasted the response below into the comment and sat in front of their computers feeling very self-satisfied thinking, "That will show Facebook they can't mess with me!" Yes, that will show them.

Last week, I asked a number of questions of Facebook users on this very blog. It appears they have been answered with this nonsense:

In response to the new Facebook guidelines, I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, status updates, messages, photos, videos,videos, and all other personal content that I post on line (as a result of the Berne Conventions) on my personal profile page, anyone else's page, or any business page. For commercial use of any of the above, my written consent is needed at all times.

Literally, over and over and over again, Facebook users have posted this in response to user guideline changes and on their walls. As I mentioned in my post last week, these responses are simply variations on responses to Facebook that have been regurgitated for years, and I use the term "regurgitated," because they make me throw up in my mouth just a little.

With this new one, I'm particularly intrigued by the use of the Berne Convention as a reference point for supposed protection of copyright information. Of course, anyone with ten seconds to Google it will realize that it does not actually cover the Internet or online intellectual privacy issues.

And let me just reference a question I posted last week: Did you honestly think you could post some generic legal language on your wall and be exempt from Facebook rules?

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This tells me that there are an awful lot of people on Facebook who don't have the vaguest notion about what constitutes the actual rule of law, which is worrisome.

I'm going to make this VERY simple for you. Facebook is a free service that lets you post information, photos, etc. on it. They are in business to make money, so they will use that information when it helps them achieve that goal. By signing up for Facebook in the first place, you give them the right to do that. You agree to their terms of service and you sign a legally binding agreement that not only will you allow this behavior, but you sanction it.

I know that all your posts about Farmville and photos of you and your high school buddies watching the football game are extremely important and valuable, but if Facebook uses them to make some cash for itself, it's your own fault for posting them in the first place.

And truthfully, there is a very simple way to avoid this problem altogether: Don't post things on Facebook.

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