A notice doesn’t help: Facebook still gets rights to your pictures

“In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, paintings, writing, publications, 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.)” –useless notice going around Facebook right now

Facebook has always had a pretty sketchy set of user guidelines (seriously, read that link!). They can do pretty much whatever they want to do with whatever you post or upload onto the site. Photos, messages, ridiculous cat pictures, whatever…. By virtue of having a facebook account, you have already given facebook the worldwide, sublicensable, royalty-right to do anything they want with photos, video, and text. Here’s the relevant copy from their terms of service:

“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 privacyand 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’s terms of service

Any copyright notice, especially one referring to the nonexistent “Berner” convention (it’s the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works), will do nothing for you. You only have 3 ways out of this agreement with facebook: 1. Don’t have a facebook account, 2. Negotiate a special agreement with facebook (good luck!), or 3., Delete your facebook account.

Don’t take my word for it. Snopes, Gizmodo, and Mashable all have more on this subject.

Embarrassing party photos posted on Facebook? Not with this beer cooler / photoblocker

“Ostensibly, the Norte Photoblocker is a functional beer cooler surrounded by four sensors that can detect the flashes from cameras or cell phones. If a flash goes off in the direction of the Photoblocker, it fires its own flash to flood the resulting photos with bright white and obscure anyone nearby.” -Gizmag, Norte Photoblocker keeps your face out of embarrassing club photos

Apparently this actually exists. A South American beer brand called Cerveza Norte has developed a beer cooler/photoblocker device in partnership with Brazil-based ad agency Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi. The device keeps a beverage cold and is outfitted with an array of flashbulbs. If the device detects a flash from a camera pointed in its direction, the photoblocker fires its own flash in order to overexpose the picture being taken. Watch the video above (skip to 0:38 to see the device), and it will all be clear. The device has been field-tested in bars in Argentina, and it works as advertised. No word on when the photoblocker will be available for purchase. Fast Company has a little more background.

This isn’t the first such device. A few years ago, NYU grad student Adam Harvey developed an anti-paparazzi clutch purse that operates in a similar way.

(via /.)