Facebook responds

Just saw this response from Facebook regarding the rights brou-ha-ha.

We are not claiming and have never claimed ownership of material that users upload.  The new Terms were clarified to be more consistent with the behavior of the site.  That is, if you send a message to another user (or post to their wall, etc…), that content might not be removed by Facebook if you delete your account (but can be deleted by your friend).  Furthermore, it is important to note that this license is made subject to the user’s privacy settings.  So any limitations that a user puts on display of the relevant content (e.g. To specific friends) are respected by Facebook. Also, the license only allows us to use the info “in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof.”  Users generally expect and understand this behavior as it has been a common practice for web services since the advent of webmail.  For example, if you send a message to a friend on a webmail service, that service will not delete that message from your friend’s inbox if you delete your account.

One of the most important goals of the new Terms was to be more open to users by being more clear about how their data was handled.  We certainly did not — and did not intend — to create any new right or interest for Facebook in users’ data by issuing the new Terms.  None of the news or blog reports at the time we announced them on February 4 suggested any confusion or misunderstanding.

However, the legalese itself suggests other possible uses that could be tapped into at some point. Perhaps they should consider making it plain English that says just this directly in the ToS and emphasize that they still claim no license to continue to post anything that is directly in your account, such as blog posts and photos in your personal albums. I think would reassure many writers and photographers.