All Articles

My Open Letter to Facebook

Moments ago, I sent this text via email to, and I would encourage you to do the same. For those of you who don’t get what the big deal is, Amanda French has posted a great explanation of exactly what this means for YOU, and how other sites treat your content.

And now, my open letter to facebook:

To whom it may concern:

Your service has been great for several years now. It’s brought me closer to, and reconnected me with family and friends that I thought I might not hear from, due to geographic, time, or other constraints. But, today, as a content producer, programmer, and facebook platform developer, I’m rather troubled by the recent change (Feb 4th) to facebook’s Terms of Service.

For the record, Mark Zuckerberg’s post on the facebook blog, did nothing to allay my fears. In fact, he tries hard to not explain the issue at stake, and instead resorts to vague descriptions, and roundabout explanations that do nothing but further obfuscate the truth. You see, I produce a rather popular podcast - “Analytical Impressions” - that aims to gain exposure for up and coming musical artists in this brave new world, at the intersection of media, marketing, and the internet. For roughly a month, my RSS feed has been importing into facebook - adding great convenience for my friends. However, if facebook, or any of it’s employees have decided to claim ownership to my productions, let me assure you that I will pursue you to the fullest extent that American law allows. You were granted a license to link, and provide access to my content (since I opted in, and used your import feature) and nothing more. In this regard, I look forward to your clarification, as previously posted content shouldn’t be included in these new Terms of Service, in my opinion.

I would also like to mention that I had hopes of using your facebook connect service in two of the upcoming projects my company is working on. It is with no disappointment that I now reject facebook connect as a viable authentication system, and neither I, or my colleagues will be recommending it to future clients. I’m not in the business of putting their intellectual property at risk. As a developer, I had looked forward to facebook facilitating standards on the “open web,” but it seems that’s not the goal.

Published 16 Feb 2009