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Who owns photos when uploaded to Facebook

April 22, 2008

facebook-and-photo-copyright.pngThere is discussion currently going on regarding who owns photos uploaded to Facebook.

One would assume that the user who uploaded the photos to Facebook would retain all rights associated with the photographs but the Facebook Terms of Use suggest otherwise.

A relevant quote from the Facebook Terms of Use:

By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sub licenses of the foregoing.

Maybe Facebook is simply protecting itself to be able to display the users images in all kinds of ways but I think the terms are way too restrictive.

However other photo sharing services on the Internet get by with much less assertion over the users content.

If you are worried about this issue and would like to share photos with your friends on Facebook without giving them away to Facebook then the best way is to store the photos somewhere else and use various methods to make them available in Facebook.

You have several options depending on where and how your photos are hosted.

If you have your photos on Flickr, the MyFlickr application is very handy. It shows a selection of your photos on your profile page and when you update your photos on Flickr it posts updates to your news feed so that your friends are notified about it.

One can argue that Flickr (soon to possibly be owned my Microsoft :-( ) is another 3rd party that will hold your photos but their TOS are much less restrictive and they support Creative Commons license which is a great way to spread your photos while retaining some rights

Gallery2 is a popular software to host your photos on your own server. The Gallery2 Embed is a Facebook application that embeds a selection of your photos in your profile. If a visitor clicks on the photo, she is then taken to your own website with your photos.

One thing missing with "Gallery2 Embed" is that it doesn't publish updates in your newsfeed when you upload photos so your friends are not made aware of any updates. I have grand plans to write my own Gallery2 Facebook application that will support updates in your newsfeed but lack of time is very prominent at the moment.

Some other popular photo hosting sites and the Facebook apps for them:
Picasa: Picasa Gallery Slideshows
.Mac: .Mac Web Gallery
DeviantArt: My deviantART
Photobucket: Photo Wall
SmugMug: My Photos from SmugMug

Good luck and make sure to remain the copyright holder of YOUR photos!



London mayoral debate on LBC

April 10, 2008

Earlier today the LBC Radio hosted a debate with the three major London mayor candidates.

Labour candidate Ken Livingstone, Conservative candidate Boris Johnson and Liberal Democrat Brian Paddick joined Nick Ferrari in the studio to face questions from Nick and from the public.

London crime is on top of many Londoner's lists of things that need to be taken care of by a new mayor.

Ken claims that statistics show how crime has declined (by a few percentage points) over the last 3 years.

Brian mentioned that telephone polls, which he believes are better indicators, showed no perceived reduction in crime. Instead he suspects that less people report crime thus lowering the crime statistics.

Boris told how he is shocked by the "28% increase of muggings of teenagers" and proclaimed that he will put more people (officers) on the streets.

The rowdy and sometimes violent behaviour on buses was brought up to which Brian Paddick argued that "the driver should get out of the cab and speak to the aggressors".

Nick was then wondering whether the driver would get assaulted and that maybe we should hire some of the Chinese bodyguards we have seen along the Olympic torch as bus drivers?

Brian Paddick still believed that "somebody has to do something about it".

The London bombings of July 2005 were brought up and Mr Livingstone
was the first to comment on it. Mr Livingstone handled the situation well back in 2005 by addressing the city with a speech of defiance. In his words the bombings had been "an act by a group of criminal men".

Ken then attacked Boris Johnson by claiming that Mr Johnson blamed the bombings on Islam.

Boris refuted forcefully by proclaiming that Islam "is a religion of peace" and that he has Muslim ancestors ("his great grandfather knew the Quran by heart").

All in all it seemed like a cheap shot by Mr Livingstone at mudslinging.

Ken's private life was brought up. A reporter was wondering whether "his relationship with London is same as his relationships to his out of relationship children". Ken kept insisting that his private life is of no one's business.

When asked about Lee Jasper, Ken stated that he "would employ Lee Jasper again if he was cleared of all allegations" to which Boris strongly opposed because he "wants a change and believes that the mayor should have full accountability" for the spending of the tax payer's money.

Regarding London transport Boris wants to offer alternatives and to improve public transport.

Brian Paddick wants to improve the state of the motorways leading into London.

"Bendy buses" are a hot topic among London drivers and Boris Johnson has promised to "scrape them and replace them with an alternative design buses that cost the same".

There is still no design on the table however and Mr Johnson was not quite sure of the cost of a bendy bus when first asked.

On the topic of London congestion charge Ken promised that the current level £8 and the future higher level of £25 would not be increased. The income from the congestion charge would go towards "cycling super highways".

Boris promised to scrap the proposed £25 higher level congestion charge, to remove the West Kensington extension and allow paying on account (no more c-charge late fees).

Further Boris wants to improve the state of London streets to allow for "smoother traffic".

Finally the candidates were asked why the public should vote for them.

Brian Paddick promised a real change and strong leadership. He continued that he has 30 years of experience as a police officer, understands communities and finally he vowed to improve public transport.

Ken proclaimed to have done many improvements in the last 8 years but that he can do much more. He has won £4 billion from the government to spend on London with which he "can build 30,000 houses for rent" among other things. Mr Livingstone will press ahead with the £25 charge on (what he calls) "gas guzzling" vehicles.

What was my impression of the London mayoral debate?

Ken Livingstone doesn't seem to listen to the public and is not honest enough. The c-charge is his main politics tool with which he will continue taxing and punishing the London motorists.

Most people voting on Brian Paddick will probably be voting for him to sort out the state of London crime but his previous spat with Ian Blair may complicate things.

Boris in my opinion is the strongest candidate for a change in London. His arguments for crime, businesses, education and transport are very reasonable.

Whoever is your favourite candidate please make sure you are registered to vote and then vote on the 1st of May.

I would recommend you to go for Boris Johnson as your first choice and Brian Paddick as your second choice but ultimately it is up you... just make sure you vote.

P.S. Rather "The grass is greener on the other side" than "Better the devil you know"



April Fool's Day 2008

April 01, 2008

Google launches Project Virgle together with Virgin.

Project Virgle, the first permanent human colony on Mars.

All featured videos on YouTubeUK and YouTube Australia lead to Rick Astley-Never Gonna Give You Up. You have been RICKROLLED!

TechCrunch is acquiring the venerable teen magazine and Web site Tiger Beat, will rename it CrunchKids.

Venture capitalists fight back against a website (TheFunded.com) that allows anonymous ratings of VCs by creating their own review site called TheUnFunded.com.

The Pirate Bay is moving their operations to the desert of Sinai in Egypt due to the new copyright legislation in the European Union.

A pre-air episode 9 of the TV show Lost. The episode is leaked from a DVD screener.