Don't share anything important or of value via Linkedin … they will own it!

[update] trackbacks/pingbacks temporarily disabled. Waaay too much spam. Seriously.
From their updated user agreement:

License and warranty for your submissions to LinkedIn.
You own the information you provide LinkedIn under this Agreement, and may request its deletion at any time, unless you have shared information or content with others and they have not deleted it, or it was copied or stored by other users. Additionally, you grant LinkedIn a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual, unlimited, assignable, sublicenseable, fully paid up and royalty-free right to us to copy, prepare derivative works of, improve, distribute, publish, remove, retain, add, process, analyze, use and commercialize, in any way now known or in the future discovered, any information you provide, directly or indirectly to LinkedIn, including but not limited to any user generated content, ideas, concepts, techniques or data to the services, you submit to LinkedIn, without any further consent, notice and/or compensation to you or to any third parties. Any information you submit to us is at your own risk of loss as noted in Sections 2 and 3 of this Agreement.

They own you … or at least anything you say or can be linked to you saying.

9 thoughts on “Don't share anything important or of value via Linkedin … they will own it!”

  1. No, they’re not. There’s a difference between a license and ownership. You’re granting them a license to use what you give them, and it’s a nonexclusive one. That means you can still do whatever you want with your work, but if you submit it to LinkedIn, so can they.

    • @Dan
      Read the section I highlighted. You give them a license to do whatever they wish. This is a little scary.

  2. Wow, the comments look representative of a post-apocalyptic age in which spam emails are the only available reading material.
    Comment disarray aside, I think LinkedIn is generally used to promote one’s self and to maintain/build connections. As such, LinkedIn can feel free to post my information all over the web, so long as they don’t misrepresent me too horribly.

    • @Forest:
      They do reserve the right to modify and embellish if they wish … so …
      That and I am cleaning up the comment spam… seriously, WTH?

  3. Terms that mention re-distribution of user-generated content are pretty common, what seems kind of unique is that they want to own concept and ideas, even indirect ones (whatever that means).
    So if someone is kind enough to provide help in their Questions and Answers section does Linked own the idea/suggestion/solution?

    • @Pierluigi
      It does look like they grant themselves some pretty wide scale rights, including the ability to relicense and resell the work/information/… to repackage it, etc. World wide, irrevocable, … Thems dangerous words for IP, especially when they can modify it, repackage it, and potentially sell it.
      Not there is a heck of a lot of value in these things, it just seems the rights are a little too broad for my comfort.

  4. There’s an inherent problem with publishing your profile on any Internet sites such as LinkedIn but that’s not limited to it, there are others over the world. I have profiles on other social networking & freelance sited such as and, and lately I’ve noticed that my profile there was being copied & published on some clone sites!
    That’s very unprofessional and unnecessary, my old profile being carbon-coied in somewhere else. It looks like the “Aggregation” of many profiles in one place is the root cause of the problem.
    Your information is either being treated as if it’s their property or they don’t take precautions against mass-copying of member information.

  5. So what if you are writing your blog on LinkedIn?? Or if you write a wee poem in your profile, they sell it to Hallmark and make millions? (Obviously I’m just making a point here… I neither harbor illusions about my poetry writing skills, nor the lucrative poetry writing market.)

  6. @Angela
    Well … yes … if they can make millions on poetry, I’d say go for it.
    But, specifically, if I say “wow, I came up with X, and here is how to do it”, they can take this and sell it without my permission, and edit me out of the picture.
    So … yes … they can.
    I think the point is that we all have to be careful and be on the guard over this stuff.
    Whats more amusing is, if I do post something that we are not free to grant rights to, but have obtained the right to post, they don’t automatically get superior rights to our rights by the mere fact of our posting. That is, we can’t grant them rights we don’t have. I suspect this hasn’t been tested in a court setting, but if it does ever get tested, I’d be hard pressed to imagine that the wide interpretation of rights granting would hold up. In otherwords, this one is itching for a test case.

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