Last week a mad gunman marched up Vine Street here in Hollywood taking shots at passing cars and luckless pedestrians. Tyler Brehm, as he was later identified, was shot and killed by police, but not before he wounded three people. One of them, music executive John Atterberry, sadly died yesterday from wounds he suffered.
As tragic as all this is, it turned creepy this morning when, while reading coverage of the story on-line, we noticed personal photos of Mr. Atterberry and Tyler Brehm with a Facebook copyright insignia.
Could it be, we wondered? Had Facebook somehow managed to copyright personal photos uploaded to its site and, sensing an opportunity to profit from them, licensed these photos to news outlets? Was this legal? Was it really possible?
As a matter of fact, yes. It is legal and possible. In fact, it seems inevitable. When you signed up to become a Facebook user, you agreed to all of it.
Here’s an article that breaks it down from a legal perspective: Facebook: Who Owns What?
I’m sure we’re not the only folks who have a problem with this. Imagine the parents of Mr. Atterberry enduring the loss of their son only to find out that candid photos of him were quickly monitized by the faceless behemoth called Facebook. It’s unseemly on all sorts of levels.
A word to the wise; social media can be great, but once you put it out there, it ceases to be yours anymore.