That Facebook Copyright Thing Is Meaningless and You Should Stop Sharing ItS

You know that bit of legal-sounding text that all your friends are sharing on Facebook? "I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details..." blah blah blah? Yeah: it's meaningless. We'll show you why, line by line.

If you've been on Facebook in the last day or so, you've probably seen this, or one of its many garbled variations, shared as someone's Facebook status:

In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, crafts, professional 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.)

By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook's direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).

Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates...

As you can hopefully already tell, it's bullshit. Let's take it line by line.

In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, crafts, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner [sic] Convention).

Your copyright is already automatically attached to any intellectual property you post to Facebook, as Facebook itself acknowledges in its "Help Center" and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities: "[Y]ou retain the copyright to your content. When you upload your content, you grant us a license to use and display that content." Indeed, the Berne (not "Berner") Convention, which governs copyright in almost every country, mandates that copyright be automatic; i.e., registration, or copied-and-pasted status updates, aren't required.

For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!

No. You've already agreed to allow Facebook to use your intellectual property in connection with Facebook (commenter Pimp Named DaveR has a great explanation of what this means) when you signed up, as outlined in its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities: "[Y]ou 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)." You can't retroactively change that agreement with a status update! That being said: Facebook's license ends when you delete your intellectual property, so they're unlikely to use your photos or status updates without obtaining permission first.

(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws.)

Again, anyone reading this (who isn't in Iran, Iraq, or the handful of other countries not subject to Berne) is already under protection of copyright laws.

By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook's direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).

As above, you have already agreed to a specific set of privacy guidelines by signing up for Facebook. I can't really tell what this paragraph is meant to ward off, specifically, but putting it in a status update isn't going to change the data use agreement you're already operating under. Furthermore, as Snopes points out, UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 is "popular among conspiracy buffs who [incorrectly] maintain that citing it above your signature on an instrument will confer upon you the ability to invoke extraordinary legal rights." Seeing it in a context like this is a pretty good indication that you're posting bullshit.

Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates...

"Open capital entity" is not... a real thing; Facebook having publicly traded stock doesn't affect its copyright or privacy guidelines; and, as we've said, you are already, explicitly, allowing the use of your intellectual property under a specific set of agreed-upon guidelines.

So: stop posting this stupid thing.