Say what?! I don’t own my photos anymore?!

When you think about media regulation, do you think about all of those T&C’s that you clicked ‘I agree’ to without even reading what you were accepting? I know I do, and I am now very aware from my previous studies at UOW that Facebook own every photo that I post and can just take it without your permission. Were you aware? Below is a snippet Facebook’s “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities”:

  1. Privacy

Your privacy is very important to us. We designed our Data Policy to make important disclosures about how you can use Facebook to share with others and how we collect and can use your content and information. We encourage you to read the Data Policy, and to use it to help you make informed decisions.

  1. Sharing Your Content and Information

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:

  1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), 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 any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

So let’s get this straight, I own everything I post, but in ways, Facebook can take my information and use it as their own? Hmm… Seems logical right? My issue is that they can take your information without asking your permission, and what has the basis of last few weeks of this subject been about – asking permission before taking photos or information or things from an individual and using it as your own.

Meet the Smith’s, a typical American family from Missouri, 2 children with a mum and a dad. Happy and smiling for a family Christmas portrait, they never thought that they would hear from their family friend travelling in Prague where they spotted their faces on an advertisement for a grocery store in the Czech Republic. Kennedy (2009) explained that when the mother of the family posted her photo of her family on multiple social media sites (in high revolution, I must add), she never expected to have a random store owner on the other side of the world to use the photo. The family was complimented with a bottle of wine and the photo was removed from the advertising. This example is one of many were individuals have posted photos online unconsciously knowing that it could be used anywhere in the world by anyone.

 

This reveals major anxieties for anyone that hears about these stories as I can imagine, the fear of the photos they may put online or anybody being able to use these phones would incite some form of fear for some individuals. In most cases you will find that businesses protect their rights against being able to use consumer images through their terms and conditions THAT WE DONT READ! It’s a big long trap of extra reading to people don’t generally have time for, so it’s something that just gets skipped over, but then revealing that imagines may be used for marketing purposes if you click accept.

There is regulation in the media as a whole through T&C’s along with laws and codes of conducts that producing media need to follow for example; The Commercial Television Code of Conduct which is often advertised on television and the radio making consumers aware of the practices that commercials should be following when advertising. They allow you to have a say and openly contact the practice to report of any behaviours that you consider not appropriate.

Personal regulations that I had growing up was time limits on the computer, I had to make my parents (well my mum – dad doesn’t know how to use computers) aware if I was making a new e-mail account and I wasn’t allowed on the computer after dinner unless it was for homework purposes which was pretty strictly controlled. Having these restrictions allowed me to get out and about and be less focused on technology when I was growing up. Now a days, I don’t have restrictions, my phone goes to bed with me, it wakes me up in the morning, my laptop goes with me wherever I need it and I’m never told to get off the computer so mum can make phone calls, we all have a wide range of access to the internet if needed (through our phones and all) so there’s never a problem in our family – at least with technology usage. It wasn’t just phones and technology that was monitored when I was younger, television shows were restricted also. I was never allowed to watch the Simpsons, Home and Away, Neighbours and so forth. I’m not really sure why, and I constantly felt deprived as my friends would always talk about the latest episodes or quote shows, but now when I look back at it, I don’t really mind that much.

Regulations restrict you from doing certain things, and they are constantly in place to keep other users online safe from unwanted content. While we may not have time to read through the T&C’s it is important to consider where your photos might end up if you aren’t aware of what companies can do with your content such as videos and pictures you put out there for your ‘friends’ (AKA the world!) to see.

 

REFERENCE

Facebook (2015) Terms of service. Viewed 22 September 2016, <https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms>.

Kennedy, M. (2009) American family’s web photo ends up as Czech advertisement. Viewed 22 September 2016 <https://www.theguardian.com/media/2009/jun/11/smith-family-photo-czech-advertisement>.

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