Internal, open access

Social Networks

What are you agreeing to?

Social Networks such as Facebook and Twitter often have lengthy terms and conditions which most people don't read because they are long and complex. But what do they really mean for you as a user? Below is a brief outline of the terms and conditions of each of the major social networking sites to give you a better idea of what you sign up to when you join. However, be aware that terms of social networking applications can and do change, and therefore this guidance is also subject to change.  

Key Points

1. When you upload your own original created content, you never lose your copyright

2. When you sign up to a social network, you agree to licence your content to them so that they can host and use your content in specific ways set out in the terms and conditions

3. You must not upload anything that does not belong to you unless you have permission to do so

4. No social network will be held responsible for any legal consequences which may occur as a result of you uploading content which is unlawful and/or illegal

5. The University has some useful guidance for staff and students relating to their online activities; tutors may also find the short JISC guidance document helpful


You can control how your content is shared through privacy settings so make sure you check these as the default settings may be set to disclose more information than you would like to

When you publish content using the 'Public' setting, it means that everyone, including those not on Facebook, will be able to access that content

Facebook can use any content you post on or in connection with Facebook

When you delete / remove your content, the licence will be terminated EXCEPT where your content has been shared with others and they haven't deleted it. This includes Applications and Platforms, which will have their own agreements in place as to how they use the content you share

FLICKR (updated terms)

Flickr terms are now incorporated into Yahoo!'s terms of service.

Don't put somebody else's images up on Flickr - if you weren't the photographer, they're not your photos

You don't need written consent of people in the photos as Flickr is primarily a non-commercial site; however, if you choose to licence your images to Getty Images, you will need the explicit written consent of identifiable individuals in the form of a Model Release

By posting images to Flickr (assuming it is a publicly accessible area) you grant Yahoo! a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive and fully sub-licensable right and licence to use your images. Yahoo! does not specify what type of use this would be, which is a bit concerning 


Flixster can use and otherwise exploit your content in on Flixster and third party websites

Any subsequent work created by Flixster which has used or been based on your content (including compilations) will be copyright of Flixster

You may access and use the site for your own personal non-commercial use

You may not copy, publish or otherwise exploit content which isn't yours


You can request deletion of information or content at any time unless you have shared it with others and they have not deleted it, or it was copied or stored by other users

When you sign up and use LinkedIn, they have an extremely wide licence to not only use but also commercialise information, content, ideas, concepts and techniques that you submit; as such, it is up to you whether you want to risk loss of it 

You may not publish or otherwise exploit content or information which isn't yours

You may not deep-link (linking to a page other than the home page) unless expressly authorized in writing by LinkedIn or for the purpose of promoting your profile or a Group on LinkedIn as set forth in their Brand Guidelines

You may also not upload a cartoon, symbol, drawing or any content other than a head-shot photograph of yourself in your profile photo

There is a long list of DOs and DON'Ts in Section 10 - note 6 DO's and 30 (yes, thirty!) DON'T's


MySpace can use and exploit your content even commercially, but you remain the copyright owner (i.e. you can license your content to others, but you will receive no payment from MySpace for their commercial use of it) 

Once you have removed content, MySpace will make all commercially reasonable efforts to ensure that your content ceases to be distributed on the service.

BUT if your content has been distributed to a Linked Service or forms part of other aspects of the Services, it may continue to appear and be used indefinitely (similar to Facebook's terms)


Twitter can make your tweets/content available to the world and allows others to do the same

Twitter can make your content available to other companies, organisations or individuals who partner with Twitter in order to broadcast, distribute or publish your content on other media and services

If companies use your content, it may be modified or adapted to meet requirements of networks or media

Twitter permits and encourages broad re-use of content


Twitpic can use your photos in connection with its business, including making derivative works of your photos (e.g. they may be included in a compilation or printed out in hard copy) to promote itself

Each user may access your images and make use of them in the ways that the software allows (e.g. sharing on Twitter/Facebook etc). This includes the possibility of sharing an image on someone else's webpage, as TwitPic gives you the HTML code to embed the image in page

TwitPic may retain, but not display or distribute, server copies of your content that you have removed or deleted - these will only be accessed in the event of a legal issue


YouTube can use your content in connection with the provision of its services (e.g. others can share content on other social networks) and its business, including for promotional purposes

Users may not distribute your content independently from YouTube or circumvent any copyright protection placed on your content

Users may only access your content for their personal, non-commercial use and content is not intended for download but rather for real-time viewing (streaming)

The licence is terminated when you remove or delete your content from YouTube


Guidance correct as of June 2011.

Things to do now

Contact Copyright & Compliance Officer for more information

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