Facebook Says Leave The Innovation To Us, Please, And Quit Using The Word Face While You're At It

from the face-face-face-face-face-now-sue-me dept

Following the recent uproar at Facebook after it introduced new features to track users’ activity, it looks like the site’s a little paranoid about privacy: they’ve sent a cease and desist notice to a college student about his site, UnFaced, which lets users track who views their Facebook profile, how long they spend watching it, and somehow calculates their “compatibility” with the user. Sounds like a fairly useful add-on to Facebook, and something that could make the site more compelling and more useful for users — which is a good thing, right? Wrong, says Facebook, which says UnFaced violates its terms and conditions. They’ve also shut off its creators’ Facebook profile, and perhaps most annoyingly, says that the use of the word “face” in its name could violate its trademark. If Facebook doesn’t want to let other people help make its product more useful, that’s their business, but basically accusing people of bogus trademark infringment represents little more than a scare tactic to try and force the kid to back down. It’s pretty obvious, probably even to a moron in a hurry, that UnFaced isn’t Facebook. But maybe Facebook’s saying something about the intelligence of their user base?

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Comments on “Facebook Says Leave The Innovation To Us, Please, And Quit Using The Word Face While You're At It”

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Facebook_Watchdog (profile) says:

Eh... it's not so bad

I went and searched Facebook for John Arrow, and sure enough I stumbled across an advocacy group. After reading both the CNET article and the letter from Andrew Bodsworth (the c&d, which was posted on the group’s page), I don’t see what the big deal is.

The letter was very personable and reasonable, and it isn’t as if they DELETED his profile. It was simply DEACTIVATED to get his attention (i.e. it will be reactivated when he complies and he’ll have three or four days of Feed to catch up on). If a bunch of users like his thing, then they can send e-mails to Facebook who might then allow them to keep it. If he wants to call their bluff on trademark issues, then he’s welcome to hire lawyers.

Overall, I don’t get why people would be upset over this. Though it might make Facebook “more valuable” to some stalk– er, users, I think on the whole Facebookers would probably appreciate the fact that Facebook doesn’t let random tards data mine their activities. After all, with all the complaining about the infamous News Feed telling people when they join and leave groups, how do you think people would feel about someone recording the time they spend looking at profiles without their consent?

kilroy says:

Re: Eh... it's not so bad

Maybe people want to know how useful a profile is … I belong to sites that leave me wondering IF they are worth the time/effort/cost and would appreciate a bit of information about how much use some of them are getting. I know nothing about FaceBook and dont much care but you cannot trademark the word face … or at least not entirely. It is a common word in the English language & is even used in some slang.

Do we all have to stop sucking face or do we just not talk about it?

Khidr (user link) says:

Likelihood of confusion

It’s a concept: If Un-Faced was a social networking site, offering college students a way to keep track of their exes… they might have a TM claim.

The only possible argument they could make, is that people will assume that Un-Faced is a facebook product, but I’d really hate to be the guy charged with arguing that with a straight… well… you know.

Obvious Man says:

They should let go of their current legal counselors. Obviously either the legal branch has too much zeal and too much control,

or they can’t exert enough power to stop Facebook’s FOP (Fools On Parade, otherwise known as the ‘decision-makers’ kinda like a CEFO, only the acronym is FEFO) from committing the standard Corporate Hari-Kiri that most other coprorations do once they so blatantly alienate their own client base.

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