Recently there has been a rash of postings on Facebook purporting to reserve peoples rights. These statements are verifiably false. Now I don’t expect people to understand the complicated minutia of the legal system, but you should have some idea of when you are protecting yourself and when you are spouting mumbo-jumbo.

When you signed up for Facebook (and likely every other service on the web) you were confronted with a Terms of Service agreement. Like almost every other web-user on the planet, you probably didn’t read it. But you did agree to it. You entered into a binding contract in exchange for the use of their service. As part of the terms of this contract you granted Facebook certain rights to the media that you uploaded to it.

To better understand this, take it out of the context of the web. You buy a car, and the bank gives you a loan. You have entered into a binding contract with the bank. You wouldn’t think that you could post a notice on your rear window that curtailed their right to, say, repossess the car if you fell behind in payments, would you? A contract lies between two (or more) parties. One side can’t simply change its terms. When Facebook wants to change its terms of service, it gives you notice and then you have the option of continuing to use their product.

Don’t be fooled by snake oil legalese. If you want to protect yourself, take appropriate steps or consult someone who can.