(Updated!) Facebook copyright threat hoax

After years have passed a Facebook copyright hoax keeps coming back. Even many of the reasonable people share it however it has no point. Get some insight why the claims of this hoax are misinforming people and what you can do to beat it!

You find updates on the newest 2020 version of the hoax at the end of the post – but the rest is worth reading too.

Many of the international news sites (Gawker, Snopes, USA Today, BBC, etc) wrote about this legal nonsense before the more trusted Hungarian sites joined in sharing the truth about it (Urban LegendsIndex csak, etc). The message shared is generally the same and despite it has no real legal background still it convinces lots of people to share it.

One of the English versions of the hoax:

Due to the fact that Facebook has chosen to involve software that will allow the theft of my personal information, I do declare the following: on this day, November 28,2014, in response to the new Facebook guidelines and under articles L.111, 112 and 113 of the code of intellectual property, I declare that my rights are attached to all my personal data, drawings, paintings, photos, texts etc… published on my profile. For commercial use of the foregoing my written consent is required at all times. The contents of my profile include private information. The violation of my privacy is punished by the law (UCC 1 1-308 – 308 1 -103 and the Rome Statute).

Another one of the English versions of the hoax:

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

Completely irrational
As others wrote it perfectly before me I don’t go into great details just sum it up. The Facebook terms (read the explanation if you find it too long) don’t contain anything you object against with this text. Of course you can protest against non existing regulations, just it doesn’t make a point. Especially it has no sense to object against something not even your Facebook friends read how would Facebook read each such posts? You make your legal statement by accepting the terms of service.  Maybe you should read it first before clicking accept and proceed just to get a user account. After you accepted all of the terms you cannot change any of the rights you signed away – especially not with posting more or less legal jargon-like bullshit on your Facebook wall.

It has no point – or does it?
Some people say these posts greatly help us decide who we should unfriend not to see more similar madness from them next time. I like the most how Hungarian fake hunder blog Urban Legends translates it:

“It is  has a similar effecitveness like when someone puts a post-it on his front door to let authorities know his house is exempted from the jurisdiction of the laws of the country.”

– or even laws of physics if I may add it to the list…

On the other hand some thing may help
Once you care for copyrights so much to use your the time to post about it on yoir Facebook wall rather you should share this – it may even have a real and valid effect:

“Everyone should credit the photographer when they share pictures on Facebook – especially if it was me! Not only because copyright laws say it’s mandatory, but it’s the right thing to do.
Read this and share it! -> https://blog.volgyiattila.hu/?p=34458

Or course you can share it without the link to my post too. It can be almost as effective that way too. I could go into details of illegal photo sharing even with the name of the creator if you don’t have a permission to use the photo. Or that you couldn’t even upload a photo without the permission of the creator. Or that you should only share the photo posted on the creator’s page and you should’t save it and upload it as yourown. But rather keep that Facebook post short and straightforward. The rest can be read here – if one takes the time and effort to do it.

In case you don’t take my words without a grain of salt (what you absolutely should not do without double checking my resources to see if I am wright or wrong) probably you should read the Facebook terms and decide it for yourself what it really does say and how it relates to my writing or the claims of hoax.

Fun fact: In the Hungarian version of this hoax there is a date included in the text. The date is falsely claimed to be the date of the changes requiring you to post this text. The year in this date gets mostly updated each year the hoax arises again and again. But some times people restarting it forget to update and start it with a back dated text and even protesting against a two year old said so change doesn’t make people think about it’s credibility. Funny how much more efficient the original version is without a date so it doesn’t need any updating before starting a new round on Facebook.

Connected sources:

Update: This hoax making fools of great numbers of people has been returning for years now. You should not hesitate to share this writing to inform people about the truth and let them learn from their mistakes! Share rather this than some misinformation!

Rather share this post than hoaxes!

In March 2020 not much after the Corona virus pandemic this hoax also returned in Hungary.  The text is basically the same, just a bit less formal. They seem to avoid the legal bullshit now and use a more simpler wording. Based on the fact they even include instructions how to select and share content it seems possible they aim elders who don’t know how to use their smart devices and how to fact check content. The claim they use is the same as previously: you can overwrite the ugly Terms of use change made by Facebook and you need to share the hoax to do so. Of course most people don’t check any legal or other background, but share without thinking. I too saw this hoax in the feed shared by samans (really), furniture salesman, cameraman, photographer and life coach too. If such clever people share it, definitely must be true – not at all!

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