Who Owns the God Facebook Page

Registration - Personal Timeline or Facebook Page | Legal pitfalls in Facebook marketing part 2

Even creating an account on Facebook requires strategic planning. A wrong decision can lead to antitrust violations and especially to later Ownership disputes lead to the account or the Facebook page. In addition to the laws, the terms of use of Facebook presented in the first part of the series of articles will play an important role.

Legal framework and Facebook rules

  • Commercial communication must be recognizable as such for consumers (Section 6 (1) 1 of the Telemedia Act (TMG)) and must not be disguised (Section 4 (3) of the Unfair Competition Act (UWG)).
  • You will only create a single personal account.“- Facebook terms of use point 4.2.
  • You will not be using your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial profit and will use a Facebook page for such purposes.“- Facebook terms of use point 4.4.
  • You will not transfer your account (including any site or app you manage) to anyone without our prior written permission.“- Facebook terms of use point 4.8.
  • Personal chronicles are intended for personal, non-commercial use only. They represent individuals and must be carried under an individual name. “- Facebook Page Basics.
  • Facebook Pages are similar to personal timelines, but offer special features to connect users to a topic that interests them, such as a company, brand, organization or famous person.“- Facebook Page Basics.

In the following we look at what all these rules mean in practice.

Personal chronicles are only for private use

The Facebook terms and conditions require that entrepreneurs or freelancers carry out commercial communications (e.g. status reports advertising their companies or products) only on Facebook pages. This does not mean that no references to professional activities should appear on personal chronicles. The professional is often interwoven with the private and so occasional references to entrepreneurial blog articles or promotions are allowed. Similar to z. B. Telling family and friends about work. However, the personal chronicle must not become a professional or corporate advertising space. This is especially important for freelancers who e.g. B. have to promote their activities as artists on their own Facebook page. There is no fixed limit, but if the number of commercial contributions exceeds the number of private contributions, in my opinion it has been exceeded. Then at the latest there will also be competition law problems.

Personal chronicles and the imprint obligation

If you regularly post work-related posts on your personal timeline, that becomes a business presence and then requires one Imprint. However, this is difficult to implement for personal chronicles, as you will find out in the next episode on the subject of imprint. Furthermore, in such a case it must be clear that you are the owner / employee of the company that you are promoting. Otherwise you run the risk of being disguised as "private and objective correspondence" surreptitious advertising. Your employees should also know that they are not allowed to use their chronicles for corporate advertising purposes, as I wrote in the article "How to avoid liability for" private "Facebook activities of your employees". And with regard to employees, the question of ownership of Facebook pages also becomes relevant.

Who owns a Facebook page

The Facebook page basically belongs to the person who created it with their account. If the page is to be transferred to third parties, this is only permitted with the consent of Facebook. With that we have come to a point with which I as a lawyer connected with Facebook pages most frequently have to do. In very many cases, Facebook pages are created by employees, agencies or cooperation partners. If there are disputes, the employers or clients are removed as admins or the pages are deleted. What follows are often uclear legal cases, in which the individual agreements, witnesses and legal assignment rules are to be appreciated. Facebook's ban on assignment plays a role, but not the only one. Because anyone who creates a Facebook page for someone else must at least grant the other admin rights or arrange for the page to be transmitted. Unauthorized lockouts or deletion can include Result in claims for damages. How complicated this legal assessment can get is shown in my article “Who do social media accounts and contacts belong to? Tips for Avoiding Conflicts in the Employment Relationship ”explained. However, your goal should be to avoid these points of contention.

Secure rights to Facebook pages

You can clarify the problem points contractually by stating in writing who should be entitled to the rights to a Facebook page and who should receive them or at least the administration rights in the event that the collaboration is terminated.

It is even better if you stay in control, put the page as "Manager"Themselves and grant employees or agents subordinate rights as" content creators ". In the article “Finally: Facebook introduces admin roles for Facebook Pages” you will find an overview of the individual authorizations. It is also possible to just create a Facebook page without an associated personal account. However, I advise against it, because in emergencies (please not for advertising purposes, because that would be spam) it can be useful to reach users via private message, which is not possible with a Facebook page. If it is a large company, the site can e.g. B. be created by a manager or another centrally responsible person.


Commercial communication belongs by law and according to Facebook's requirements on Facebook pages. Personal chronicles should primarily be used for private purposes. In the event of violations, a Blocking through Facebook or Warnings from competitors because of violations of the imprint obligation or the prohibition of surreptitious advertising. If Facebook pages are created in employment, cooperation or contract relationships, it should be clarified in advance who should be entitled to the rights to the pages. In order to save themselves difficulties practically, companies should set up the Facebook pages themselves and keep the "manager" rights themselves and only temporarily, e.g. B. to set up apps. Next week this will be about brand and name rights when creating Facebook accounts and pages.

Further topics in this series:

  1. Introduction: Legal pitfalls in Facebook marketing (week 4/2014)
  2. Registration - personal timeline or Facebook page (week 5/2014)
  3. The choice of the account and page name (week 6/2014)
  4. The imprint (week 7/2014)
  5. Data protection declaration, disclaimer & netiquettes (week 8/2014)
  6. Use of images (week 9/2014)
  7. Use of images 2 (week 11/2014)
  8. Facebook's IP license, stock images, sharing and thumbnails (week 12/2014)
  9. Basics of the use of foreign texts (week 16/2014)
  10. Sharing of texts, ancillary copyright and handling of user contributions (KW 17/2016)
  11. Opinions, defamation and dealing with competitors (week 18/2014)
  12. We are better than the competition - advertising content and advertisements (KW 16/2014)
  13. Surreptitious advertising, sponsoring and bought likes (week 28/2014)
  14. Fanpage invitations, direct marketing and address generation (week 32/2014)
  15. Sweepstakes and competitions
  16. Covert guerrilla marketing
  17. Use of the Facebook brand, brand logos and screenshots
  18. Liability for the content of the site, links, advertisements and fan contributions
  19. Data protection and social media plugins
  20. Employees and social media guidelines