Permission Revoked

I hereby formally, officially and categorically deny, refuse and repudiate the recent changes to the Facebook Terms of Use as they apply to the unilateral, unacceptable and unconscionable claim that Facebook owns my original content in perpetuity.

I have therefore removed all imported content from my personal site and I assert my personal prior and continuing claim of copyright on my content. I also revoke permission previously given temporarily to Facebook in regard to this now removed content.

I proclaim and testify there was never a meeting of minds over the ridiculous and reprehensible notion that Facebook has the right or reason to claim philosophical or practical ownership over my, or anyone else’s, original content.

By continuing to offer service to my account, Facebook indicates that it agrees with this declaration and that it will with all effort and faithfulness uphold, protect and defend my claim of copyright and my positive and affirmative right to revoke permission in regard to any and all use of my content as per the prior Terms of Use. If Facebook choses to end its offer of service, Facebook must then still remove all content covered by our prior agreement, as per the revocability of permission in the previous Terms of Use.

For those interested, my content can still be found on my own website and blog.

Update 26feb09 @ 2:02pm:

Well done, Facebook. I applaud the comeback [also]. And, check out the ‘good’ dialog in this quote about dialogue, perhaps missing a word or two:

“We believe that good dialogue we will get us to the right place… where everyone is more involved and happy.” [via]

As I wrote, about Facebook’s initial response [also], in the comments to WHAT’S GOOD FOR FACEBOOK IS GOOD FOR AMERICA:

The problem with the response from Facebook is that a “philosophy” isn’t worth much when compared to the word of the agreement. That’s tantamount to a verbal addendum to a written contract, which by the way states that it is the “entire” agreement. In other words, it doesn’t matter what they say, because what they do is the thing that matters. This is part of a continuing lesson for those still misled to believe that corporations have anyone’s interest at heart but their own.

They must be pushed back from over reaching or they will.

I have too much respect for the function of the law to dismiss the blatant overreaching of a terms of use that claims permanent permission. Even if it’s that the corporate lawyers were being lazy using boilerplate, and the people in charge were being lazy by not double checking the lawyers’ homework, they did put it in writing.

Take a look at the terms of use at Flickr or Twitter or Virb for examples of how things can be done. The kind of wording that Facebook used isn’t excusable.

And, moreover, until corporate lawyers and their corporate masters get a clue that they are not buying and selling people but rather offering a service to people that can chose to leave with their work and value intact, they deserve to have people freak out at them when they do something stupid.

These things are growing pains. I sincerely hope that Facebook does follow through. I sincerely hope that these incidents help continue to step up every social network’s game, raises awareness, and the level of discourse about privacy and copyright for everyone.

On the other hand, go watch The West Wing’s episode “The Short List” one more time and hash it out that the right to privacy is so important, but at the same time it was the breaking of an anonymous identity that revealed the weakness on the issue of privacy of the ‘home-run’ appointee; and, created the opportunity for the ‘right’ appointee.

Abscam! Good times, good times …

Via a link on Huffington, the article House Democrats name Hoyer to No. 2 post – Yahoo! News mentions Murtha’s difficulty with Abscam:

Murtha, 74, was a problematic candidate because of his penchant for trading votes for pork projects and his ties to the Abscam bribery sting in 1980, the only lawmaker involved who wasn’t charged.

FBI agents pretending to represent an Arab sheik wanting to reside in the United States and seeking investment opportunities offered bribes to several lawmakers. When offered $50,000, Murtha was recorded as saying, “I’m not interested … at this point.” A grand jury declined to indict Murtha, and the House ethics committee issued no findings against him.

I know that Abscam has come up in some coversation I’ve had some time in the last couple years, but I haven’t really thought about Abscam much for a very long time. This mention of a politician’s career being still tainted by something that happened over 20 years ago sure makes me wonder what 20 years will do to the reflection on the current time. How will the 109th be viewed, I can’t help but wonder?

It also occurs to me that while I remember Abscam as being a bit of a set up some how, I certainly can’t help but wonder how easy it would have been, like shooting fish in a barrel, to catch a bus load of the 109th in a sting accepting dirty money and gifts. In some ways, the fact that such a thing didn’t really happen is a testament to how little oversight there has been.

But, then again, when everyone seems to have gotten dirty, it’s a bit like volunteering to go hunting with Cheney, to start up an investigation like that. You’ve got to have some kind of expectation that you’ve got allies in powerful places to whom you can come to, out of the cold. Without that, I can see where self-preservation would suggest running for cover.

There’s got to be a way to make speaking truth safer, but I suppose speaking truth to power is never really safe. Maybe there should be a medal for whistleblowers that has some kind of pension attached to it? But, then, there’s just more chance for partisan cronies to be awarded a windfall, while dirt on power is swept under anything convenient.

Now I’m reminded once again of the Intensify / Downplay Schema.

The people for John Kriscfalusi; democratized media; sense of virtual place

Via all kinds of stuff, “George Liquor Stories 1“:

“So listen, next step is to get as many more people (not repeat persons, but new people) to comment AND I just found out that the more people who link to me, the better chance I have to get sponsors-and when I do I will make NEW cartoons for you! I have more crap to show you, so as soon as I hit 400 comments…”

John Kriscfalusi, the artist behind Ren & Stimpy, is discovering the power of popularity on the Internet. His blog was linked at Boing Boing on the 15th, and elsewhere on the ‘net, and he’s been surprised by his reception, apparently.

The amount of traffic necessary to make direct marketing between the producer and consumer is significantly less than when there is a oligonomy determining the prices offered to producers and costs to consumers between them and filtering projects out which have significant appeal to the long tail.

This is the spring from which hope flows for the future of popular properties that the media conglomerates do not support, such as Firefly and Dead Like Me, to name only two that have been significant to me recently.

On the cusp, where projects like Rocket Boom meet the public demand and are rewarded, of a new world of media. The print revolution put democratized the transmission of knowledge. The computer democratized publishing. The Internet has been trying very hard to democratize radio, television and cinema. Internet radio failed to survive the legal onslaught of major media, once they awoke to the fight. I wait with baited breathe to see if podcasting will survive being co-opted by major media. Although it is not completely out of the woods yet. It does seem there are new platforms for distribution and creation almost daily. Perhaps the next step will manage some kind of victory.

This pattern of democratization brings to mind the democratization of virtual space, such as the place of MMORPGs in increasingly player-driven games. I’ve been thinking about all the waves that have attempted to provide a topology to the virtual world, and just a little while ago I thought to include the MMORPGs in this. These virtual spaces have routes and sights and crossroads wherein many of the activities of socialization occur, but bound by a geography.

“Hello, I must be going!” – Marx, Patron Saint of Consultants

Via Communication Nation, “Beware of experts, wizards and consultants“:

“Experts usually mean well, but they often don’t dwell in the world of reality.”

And the expert doesn’t usually have a long term relationship with the entity they are “helping” with advice. That means that they are likely ill-equiped to handle long-term, systemic issues such as delayed consequences.

But, that’s the consultant game, more so with the less reputable consultants. A consultant is less likely to want to create a sustainable situation because that means the consultant can’t come back in a few weeks or months for another hit. But even when this isn’t intentionally done by the consultant, the chances are that an organization will become over-reliant on consulting, on the outsider.

Sustainability should be a big part of the conversation between any organization and consultants they hire.