Editor’s Notes:  This is a followup article on the new changes that are pending to Facebook that affect photographers (see our original post here).  At Photofocus, we do not offer legal advice and suggest that you consult with professional groups like ASMP or discuss with your own lawyer.

Social media terms of service are a huge discussion for media creators. Recently, Facebook updated their terms effective January 1, 2015 which bring more transparency to how they’re collecting and using information. The newly-introduced Facebook Basics website explains:

  1. What others see about you
  2. How others interact with you
  3. What you see

The Facebook Basics website is geared more towards people who are just curious about their data and privacy, but aren’t too concerned one way or another. For those of us who care about our Data Privacy, Facebook also launched a new FAQ page that outlines what information they collect and how they use it. On the “official terms” page, Facebook also says:

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:

“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.”– Facebook

Editor’s note: Be sure to see our previous article on this issues.  

  • Transferable means they can assign you rights to someone else.
  • Royalty-free means with no payment to you
  • Worldwide means they can do this everywhere on the planet


Facebook has to walk a fine line with rights to our content. They collect massive amounts of data every day and are still figuring out ways to use it to make their service better. It’s understandable that Facebook lawyers want to create the most flexibility and protection for Facebook.  They feel they need to have rights to share our data, which is the only way third-party companies can implement a Facebook login to their website, access our pictures, and general data in our About section, which we’re providing them. This is part of the way that many people want to use Facebook.

Right now, we don’t know Facebook’s intent on selling or licensing our images, but things can change. In the terms above, you grant Facebook a non-exclusive license, meaning you can still market and sell your images to other buyers. We’ve seen images from Twitter and YouTube get licensed.

What’s the moral? Facebook really is great for communicating and marketing your business and ASMP recommends to share smart:

“We recognize the value that Facebook has as a tool for many photographers in marketing themselves. We suggest that if you are going to share, don’t post your images directly on Facebook; instead post a link from a publication platform that you control, such as your own website.” – ASMP

Nick Minore is a video professional and avid photographer based in Florida. Be sure to follow Nick for more photo and video updates by clicking on the links below!

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Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. I never post photos on Facebook. Links? Yes. My own photos? No.

  2. I’m not posting there anymore. One of my friends saw one of my photos attached to a FB ad awhile ago. It’s unreal. I don’t need FB. When you push people too far, you end up losing a good thing.

  3. Do you have a link for where users can provide feedback to Facebook? If they get inundated with upset customers, perhaps they will change the wording somewhat to appease people?

  4. Every year they tell you the same BULLSHIT, we change our policy but wont use it… and every year they press a little further… the classic strategy of SLOW CHANGE … if you do the changes slow enough … people wont notice and eventually accept it … it takes a long time… but they are going to F*CK YOU ! Why else change the rulz of the game to enable them to do it ??? And not build in a clause that makes this ILLEGAL… coz they will go this direction.

    The same with FLICKR… they are selling your CREATIVE COMMONS and you dont get SHIT !

    I for one am tired of being a product, I dumped facebook and will dump flickr as well, Ill go to a PAID service where I am a CUSTOMER and not a PRODUCT….

    Most people in this world are tooo stupid, there is a simple rule.

    If you dont PAY for a PRODUCT, YOU ARE THE PRODUCT !!!

  5. Reblogged this on villebooks and commented:
    Attention, please!

  6. […] issue has been raging since 2013 since Facebook changed their fought against the new terms which allows Facebook to use your Intellectual Property […]


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About Nick Minore

Nick Minore is a photo and video professional. At age 22, Nick is the youngest video producer for PlayOn Sports and the youngest author for Photofocus. A busy schedule keeps him always on the go, whether producing live sports broadcasts for TV and the web, or a portrait photo shoot on the beach near his home in Florida. Always with a camera in hand, Nick enjoys experimenting with new cameras and shooting techniques. He really "gets" technology and loves to share tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your gear or software.


Business, News, Opinion, Photography


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