Don't Fall for the Latest Facebook Hoax

The newest bogus message circulating through Facebook claims that you need to copy and paste a status update to protect the copyright of your pictures and videos.

No, you can't declare the copyright of your Facebook photos and videos that you upload to the site in a status update. But that's what a lot of people think they're doing by publishing a viral status update that's making the rounds on Facebook.

The message starts: "In response to the new Facebook guidelines, I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, 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!"

The message, like past hoaxes, references the "Berner Convention" (which is a misspelling of the Berne Convention, an international agreement governing copyright since 1886), and uses other fancy legal jargon, presumably to sound legitimate.

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Snopes.com, a site that dispels misinformation and internet rumors, addressed the latest Facebook chain letter:

"Facebook users cannot retroactively negate any of the privacy or copyright terms they agreed to when they signed up for their Facebook accounts nor can they unilaterally alter or contradict any new privacy or copyright terms instituted by Facebook simply by posting a contrary legal notice on their Facebook walls.

Moreover, the fact that Facebook is now a publicly traded company (i.e., a company that has issued stocks which are traded on the open market) or a 'capital entity' has nothing to do with copyright protection or privacy rights."

Facebook, too, addressed the hoax, saying, "This is false, anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post, as stated in our terms. They control how that content and information is shared. That is our policy, and it always has been."

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