That Facebook hoax going around yet again has me thinking people need to learn just a little about the UCC. There are so many other problems with that hoax (such as the idea one can just retroactively modify something once contracted to in the adhesion contract of the terms and conditions) that should make people extremely skeptical and for some reason don’t, but this one jumps out at me. After all, take one example hoax message:
As of September 28th , 2015 at 10:50p.m. Eastern standard time, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates.
The only supposed law mentioned are UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute. Anyone who has any idea what these are goes no further, knowing it is a hoax.
After all, the UCC is the Uniform Commercial Code. It isn’t enforceable law. It’s a model law, suggestions that a bunch of scholars, lawmakers, and others have put together hoping people will adopt to make the law more uniform in different jurisdictions. For the most part, it’s been successful. Most states have adopted most of the UCC, though most have modified in one way or another and you don’t necessarily know which update they adopted. Regardless, even in such cases, the UCC itself is still not an enforceable law. When a state adopts a portion, they codify it into their own laws. For example, UCC 1-308 corresponds to Colorado Revised Statute 4-1-308 in Colorado.
So, the UCC is not enforceable law.
Further, the UCC really is concerned with contract law, primarily personal property, not privacy. Additionally, UCC 1-308 is in article 1, which is the general provisions section as opposed to one of the real meaty articles. Even within the general provisions article, it only gets as specific as part 3, which covers territorial applicability and general rules.
Does that sound like it’s going to have crap to do with privacy or Facebook? Doesn’t to me.
Okay, let’s look at the current text of UCC 1-308:
§ 1-308. Performance or Acceptance Under Reservation of Rights.
(a) A party that with explicit reservation of rights performs or promises performance or assents to performance in a manner demanded or offered by the other party does not thereby prejudice the rights reserved. Such words as “without prejudice,” “under protest,” or the like are sufficient.
(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to an accord and satisfaction.
See something? Well, there is no subsections 1 or 103. There’s just a and b. Thus, though there is UCC 1-308 in the modern UCC, there is no UCC 1-308-1 or UCC 1-308-103. It vaguely looks like it might be applicable to reservation of rights after that, but there’s nothing about privacy or any punishment for such violation.
It’s crap. Anyone with any clue about the UCC knows that on the face of the hoax, much less looking at the UCC section.
And the Rome Statute? The Rome Statute is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court and its jurisdiction to try cases involving things like genocide and war crimes. Nothing about Facebook, privacy, copyright, or anything relating to ordinary contract or intellectual property law. Again, anyone with the first idea what the Rome Statute is would instantly recognize the post is a hoax.
This whole thing would have gone away a lot faster, and gone around less times, if people had the first clue what those cited “laws” were, or at least decided to check into it a little.