Bodybook – Because Facebook owns your face

Facebook owns the word Face. No, it really does. In the United States, Facebook owns the trademarks to the words ‘Face’, ‘Book’, ‘Wall’ and ‘Facepile’ as well as the aberration ‘FB’. It also has the rights to be the only company to use a single letter ‘F’ as their logo. Check out section 5.6 of their terms and conditions for the proof.

Cheers Facebook, there goes my plan of publishing my book ‘A book about my face on the wall’ in the US. Guess I will have to rename it ‘Pages of text about the front of my head on the structural divider.’ Only joking, I don’t plan on re-publishing it in the US.

Facebook Owns Your Content

As Jonny mentioned a while back, Instagram has the right to sell your pictures, and no doubt Facebook will soon too. Any picture you post on Facebook the social network already owns anyway. Check out section 2.1 of the terms I link to above:

“For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos, you specifically give us the following permission… …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…”

So Facebook owns your pictures, your videos and your statuses. Don’t worry, if you delete them, usually most of the rights will transfer back to you, however so long as they remain live on Facebook, it can use them how it wants, as well as share them with its ‘partners’. This means that you could very easily become a victim of mistaken identity.

Terms of Service; Didn’t Read note how “Facebook automatically shares your information with Bing, Pandora, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Rotten Tomatoes, Clicker, Scribd, and Docs, unless you manually opt-out.” how lovely of them to share your stuff for you!

Terms of Service; Didn't Read logoRemember my 7th ever post on Technology Bloggers? Of course you do! 😉 I questioned whether or not Facebook was exploiting users by using status information to provide tailored advertising – without asking.

Facebook Own Your Face

Facebook has taken targeted advertising a step further since then. It has been using the names and pictures of around 150 million people in ‘Sponsored Stories’ without their permission and as a result sent out an email checking that this was okay. Those who responded to Facebook’s message will receive a $15 USD payment as compensation. Is that really all it costs to buy your identity? Did you get an email? Did you ignore it?

Facebooks email to users about updating its privacy policy

The email Facebook sent to me letting me know it was updating its privacy policy.

Anyhow, Facebook don’t like having to pay for your permission, so they have recently changed their terms and conditions. If you have a Facebook account, you will have been sent an email on the 30th of August about this change. If you deleted it, you can find an image of my email to the right.

The new terms state that Facebook can now use your face to claim you endorse its advertisers products. You know that face you are wearing, you no longer own the exclusive rights to it. Facebook legally part-owns your face.

Will everyone remove pictures of their faces and just have shots of their body? Or maybe people will use pictures of their pets. Then again, who wants Facebook to own their pets face…


I doubt many people will pay any attention to Facebook’s latest changes.

Will this spark the rise of a new Facebook, a Bodybook? Probably not, as most people seem to trust Facebook with their privacy… oh, and Facebook also owns the word book, so it would need to be Bodyjournal, which sounds like a totally different thing.

Christopher Roberts with no head

Which do you think should be my new profile picture, the one on the left or the one on the right?

Oh and don’t forget, there is a strong correlation with Facebook addiction and depression

4 thoughts on “Bodybook – Because Facebook owns your face

  1. Maybe someone should consider registering a word Bodybook, and, when it become famous as Facebook, they will be rich. 🙂
    Just kidding. As any other average user, I haven’t read the Terms of Service. But, I don’t have problem with Facebook using any of the content on my account. I mean, the general idea of Facebook is sharing, isn’t it? So, everything I post on my wall, albums, or anywhere else on the Internet, it should be shared. I posted it there because I wanted to share. If someone “took” my picture and use it in commercial purposes, I would be happy to say – “You know that commercial about _________ ? That’s me in it!”

    • Hi Kate, thanks for the comment.

      We obviously have very different views! So if Facebook took a picture off your account and used it to promote something in an advertisement, you would be happy and wouldn’t want to be paid, or receive any credit?

      What about if it was a really unethical use of your content, say using a picture of your face to claim you endorse something, or believe something (which Facebook wrongly deduced from your account). Are you really happy for Facebook to be able to do that? Say Facebook claimed that you thought human-trafficking was acceptable, would you be okay with that? Or maybe Facebook gave one of your images (maybe of your dinner) to Monsanto and it then used it to claim that we are 100% certain that GM food is completely safe (which we aren’t yet). Facebook quite literally owns your stuff and can do whatever it wants with it.

      Do you also agree that Facebook need to own the rights to the word ‘Face’ and ‘Book’? We can’t therefore set up Bodybook, as Facebook owns the word book :-/

      Thanks again for the comment, feel free to reply with your views.
      It’s great to have you join the community 🙂
      Christopher – Admin Team

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