Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Instagram Hammer Falls

Remember when I said we'd see much protest once Facebook and Instagram decided to accept their proposed terms of use and policies?  Yeah that's TOTALLY happening RIGHT NOW.  At the moment, much of the protest is coming from the Instagram community in that Instagram now claims the right to license users' photos.  It's right there in the new Terms of Service (effective January 16, 2013):

  1. Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, except that you can control who can view certain of your Content and activities on the Service as described in the Service's Privacy Policy, available here:
  2. Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf.
  3. You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such.
Here's the short version: Instagram doesn't own your photos, but you gave them the right to use your photos however they want worldwide.  They may use your photos for advertising purposes and you don't get a cut.  Finally, they're not obligated to tell you jack if they do use the photos.

Gee, if only we had a chance to stop them from doing that.

***Update December 19, 2012***

In response to the public backlash of their new terms of service, Instagram has issued a release stating that their intention was not to sell photos.  They promised to water down the language in the actual update but what they will replace the proposed terms of service remains to be seen.

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