26 Nov 2012 - Article No: 1641

Facebook Berne Convention Copyright Notice - Facebook Rumour

Other Keywords: UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103, Berne Convention, Berner Convention


In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, 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 If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status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.
collected November 2012


Today, [date], I hereby declare my ownership of this account on Facebook, and to whom it may concern, and in particular to the administrator of the company Facebook, my author rights are related to all my personal information, comments, texts, articles, illustrations, comics, paintings, photos, professional videos and other publications in electronic format that I spread on this site under my signature. The above is protected in principle by the Berne Convention for the protection of literary and artistic works, as well as with regard to the respective national copyright law. For commercial use of the aforementioned items, requires my written consent and my valid signature in blue or black ink. By this statement, I notify Facebook, that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or any of its contents. These prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents or members of any team, under the direction or control of Facebook. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of such privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308 - 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute).

Note: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once you will be tacitly allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status
collected June 2013




Messages are circulating Facebook that implore users to post the same message to their Facebook walls in order to protect their information under copyright laws. The message states that copying and pasting the message protects the users information under "copyright laws".

The message is clearly inspired from earlier "privacy notice" messages that began to circulate in May 2012 that claimed copying and pasting it would protect your privacy as it would prevent others from using your information.
And just like that earlier message, this copyright message is total, utter, 100% "armchair lawyer" nonsense.

As we stated before when the "privacy notice" rumours began to circulate, when you join Facebook you agree to their terms and conditions and it is those terms that govern how your information is treated and what can or cannot be done with your information. Users who do not agree with those terms and conditions are advised to not sign up for an account.

So... in the case of copyright, Facebook users who post original content onto Facebook are still the copyright holders of that information, and posting such content on Facebook grants the social networking site with a "non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license" that is used in conjunction with your existing privacy settings that you choose for your account.

This information can be found easily enough through Facebooks Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

And it is Facebooks Statement of Rights and Responsibilities that govern how your information is treated on Facebook, not a silly, pseudo-jargon "copyright notice" that you post onto your account. (and for most users would quickly become buried under newer information) The implication that Facebook users can alter how their information is treated on Facebook merely by posting something onto their Facebook Wall is absurd. And since - as we highlighted above - Facebook users are already the copyright holders to original content they post onto Facebook any way, the posting of this message becomes even more pointless (if that is indeed possible.)

The fact is that the original creator is the copyright holder of information that they post onto Facebook, nobody else. Under International copyright law (most notably the Berne Convention) and also under the domestic copyright law of nearly every country in the industrialised world, Facebook, nor any other third party, can commit copyright infringement on your original content, regardless of whether a legal-sounding psuedo-disclaimer is posted or not.

The message also quotes the same piece of UCC legislation as the "privacy notice" rumours which again is irrelevant in this context. The message also quotes the Berne Convention (often misspelled as Berner Convention in many variants) which is an agreement from various countries to recognise copyright infringement regardless of where the original content was created. (i.e. someone in France is still committing copyright infringement even if the original content was created in the UK) However the Berne Convention does not make this message any less pointless. In fact it is the Berne Convention that makes even legitimate copyright disclaimers almost unnecessary.
Also the message quotes the Rome Statute which established the International Criminal Court, which has nothing to do with copyright law whatsoever.

Copying this messasge to your Wall accomplishes one thing. It shows to all your friends that you fell for a silly hoax that could have been dismissed as such with only a few minutes of research.




Social media and the Internet is rife with rumour, misinformation, propaganda and untruth. It is like this because people can be irresponsible with what information they choose to share.

Our community works hard to try and debunk and assist in as many cases as possible, as well as teach people how to share responsibly. We believe it is important that anyone who uses the Internet be able to identify false rumours and fully understands the possible consequences of spreading false information.

If you are interested in this, feel free to read our two-part blog. Part 1 deals with how to spot and debunk Internet rumours and Part 2 deals with the reasons why you should never circulate false information.

Additionally if you have fallen for this rumour or have Facebook friends that have, you can join our growing Facebook page here or sign up to our mailing list here.

comments powered by Disqus