According to c|net and Ars Technica, which first reported this news, Facebook has 73 active trademarks listed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, including the letter "F," "Face," "FB," "Wall," "Facepile," and "Friendfeed." "Book" is not yet on the list. But Facebook is planning to update its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, and, if approved, Facebook members must agree not to use the words "Face," "Poke," or "Book."Here’s the relevant excerpt from the old user agreement:
You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Wall and 32665), or any confusingly similar marks, without our written permission.Here’s the equivalent part from the new agreement:
You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Book and Wall), or any confusingly similar marks, except as expressly permitted by our Brand Usage Guidelines or with our prior written permission.
Credits to ZDNet for the research.
If these revisions are approved, users signing onto Facebook will be agreeing not to use the word "book" as well as other "banned words" like "Face" "Poke." That is a pretty daring move on Facebook part, and I expect many backlash. Think about all the schools that have "books" in their library, or all the book publishers. If an employee of a book publishing company has a facebook account does that give the right of Facebook to sue? Also, how should I right about my favorite book on Facebook. According to the new terms and conditions, the following sentence would be disallowed: "I have been POKED in my pretty FACE by a bully while reading a BOOK in the library."
What do you think? Has Facebook oversteped the line? Write your opinions in the comment below!