Should you do business on Facebook?

A lot of fuss around how Facebook changed its terms of use, and then, within 24 hours, changed them back.

What was the change about? Under the old (and current) terms, Facebook asks you to give them an unlimited license to do whatever they want with what you put on Facebook. However, that license expired when you closed your account.

Under the proposed new rules (now withdrawn), Facebook wanted to keep that license (i.e. they wanted to continue to use your stuff, even after you closed your account or deleted it from your page).

One step too far? Actually, it only highlighted the amazing position that Facebook has always taken. Make no mistake: if you post your new cool song on Facebook, they have the right to do with it pretty much what they want. If you post a new, brilliant idea on Facebook, they get to use it as they seem fit.

Without paying you a penny.

So, is it a good idea to use Facebook for anything related to your business?

Only if you are happy that whatever you do, write, create, can be used by someone else without any limitation or compensation.

The Facebook episode clearly illustrates how important it is to understand how intellectual property rights can profoundly affect any business structure you want to set up.

Understanding the impact of IPRs on what you are doing is essential in order to be successful.

Joren De Wachter