Facebook now owns your face

Posted on April 1, 2016

 

Following the ruling that Instagram and other major tech companies are allowed to use all pictures uploaded onto them, it has now emerged that Facebook owns the copyright to its users’ faces.

What’s more, people with an account on the social media site may find themselves in a legal wrangle if they try to use their face without Facebook’s permission, regardless of whether this is on the internet or in other areas of their life.

The news will come as a stark revelation to people who use their face on a regular basis, and especially those who rely on it to make a living, such as supermodels, professional look-alikes, and comedian and facial contortionist Lee Evans.

Already, the controversial ruling has incurred the ire of a number of important face-related officials, including Delroy Facey, Head of the Federation of Faces, who raged:

“I can’t believe it! Who on Earth came up with this crazy idea?

Only a fool would dream up such ridiculous legislation!”

In Russia, a case of mistaken identity has already led to a non-Facebook user being wrongly hit with a fine for unauthorised use of his copyrighted face.

Olaf Plori of Vladivostok was believed to have been in breach of the copyright by using his face in public, and was issued with a penalty of 30,000 Russian rubles. However, it later transpired that Mr. Plori did not have a Facebook account and the copyrighted face in question was actually that of his identical twin brother Alfo, who has been hiding his face underneath the top half of a giant Russian doll since the news broke.

For Facebook users who do not own such props and are still hoping to avoid the threat of legal action, Facebook has suggested that they should print off an image of the silhouette of a man or woman’s head that appears when users have not set a profile picture, and use it as a mask to disguise their now copyrighted face when in public.

This, the site claims, will allow you to carry out your day-to-day duties without being in breach of any rulings, and will still let everybody know that you are a Facebook user.

However, some observers have commented that such actions may cause confusion among people who do not upload a profile picture, and that these individuals may find themselves penalised every time Facebook spots somebody wearing one of its silhouette masks.

John Murray

Content Team Leader at Engage Web
John works for Engage Web as a Content Team Leader and regularly contributes to the website and programmes of his beloved Chester F.C.

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