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TwitPic Will Sell Your Photos, But No Cash For You 102

Posted by timothy
from the click-no-to-agree dept.
Andy Smith writes "Twitter picture-posting service TwitPic has defended its plans to sell users' photos, but still won't cut users in on the deal. TwitPic founder Noah Everett claims that the move has been made to 'protect' users of the service."
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TwitPic Will Sell Your Photos, But No Cash For You

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  • Non-story (Score:4, Insightful)

    by x*yy*x (2058140) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @03:00PM (#36111344)
    Ah, more submissions from Andy Smith. Just like last time it's completely off. TwitPic is not "planning to sell users' photos", it's just adding a clause in TOS that they have the right to them too. Just like YouTube and tons of other user content sites. In nowhere they state they plan to sell them, but Andy again twisted it like that.

    You know what, if you intent to sell your photos yourself and have full copyright on them, what about not uploading them all around the internet and giving them right to use them?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hawguy (1600213)

      Ah, more submissions from Andy Smith. Just like last time it's completely off. TwitPic is not "planning to sell users' photos", it's just adding a clause in TOS that they have the right to them too. Just like YouTube and tons of other user content sites. In nowhere they state they plan to sell them, but Andy again twisted it like that.

      The quote from Noah implies that's exactly what they plan to do:

      As we’ve grown, Twitpic has been a tool for the spread of breaking news and events. Since then we’ve seen this content being taken without permission and misused. We’ve partnered with organizations to help us combat this and to distribute newsworthy content in the appropriate manner. This has been done to protect your content from organizations who have in the past taken content without permission. As recently as last month, a Twitpic user uploaded newsworthy images of an incident on a plane, and many commercial entities took the image from Twitpic and used it without the user’s permission.

      While he didn't reveal the terms of the partnershipis, typically the We've partnered with... quote means that money has exchanged hands, so they are, in effect, selling your pictures.

      • You're taking "We've partnered with [completely unknown] organizations" to mean "selling your content for cash?" You're going to have to explain the steps to get from A to B. This is total assumption and isn't newsworthy at all. Where's the evidence?
        • by idontgno (624372)

          The obvious joke, in classic Slashdot style, is:

          1) Take legal possession of uploaded pictures
          2) "Partner with organizations"
          3) ????
          4) PROFIT!

        • Re:Non-story (Score:5, Insightful)

          by M. Baranczak (726671) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @04:09PM (#36112202)

          "We've partnered with organizations to help us combat this and to distribute newsworthy content in the appropriate manner."

          What plausible interpretation of this sentence can you give that doesn't involve selling content?

          • How about consumer protection advocacy groups? The EFF? I don't know any off the top of my head. This is complete assumption. He's ignoring the fact that the statement points out that the users maintain full copyright ownership of their pictures. I think that stands for itself. Also note he said "...entities took the image from Twitpic and used it without the user's permission." He said "user's permission" for a reason.
            • by lxs (131946)

              If they had partnered with the EFF he'd come out and say it. Not naming the organizations means that he isn't comfortable, or allowed, to tell users which organizations are involved. This reeks of shady dealings.

          • by node 3 (115640)

            "We've partnered with organizations to help us combat this and to distribute newsworthy content in the appropriate manner."

            What plausible interpretation of this sentence can you give that doesn't involve selling content?

            The problem is how it's being framed. It's being framed as, "TwitPic is taking your shit, selling it, and fuck you."

            The most plausible explanation (based solely on what I've read on Slashdot so far) is:

            Right now, people are taking photos from TwitPic and using them however they want. TwitPic is partnering with a company to be the official method by which you can commercially use pictures from TwitPic. This certainly does involve money going to TwitPic (so, yes, they are selling your photos and not paying yo

            • by hawguy (1600213)

              The problem is how it's being framed. It's being framed as, "TwitPic is taking your shit, selling it, and fuck you."

              The most plausible explanation (based solely on what I've read on Slashdot so far) is:

              Right now, people are taking photos from TwitPic and using them however they want. TwitPic is partnering with a company to be the official method by which you can commercially use pictures from TwitPic. This certainly does involve money going to TwitPic (so, yes, they are selling your photos and not paying you, so the fact is true, but the way it's presented as a big "Fuck You" is not).

              I thought it was framed as "Twitpic is taking your shit, selling it", I didn't see a single fuck you in the article. The fuck you is implied.

              If you post a picture and AP decides to run it without compensation, if you hold the copyright you can sue them for compensation. If TwitPic sold them the rights to the image for a 5 cents, there's nothing you can do about it.

              • by node 3 (115640)

                The problem is how it's being framed. It's being framed as, "TwitPic is taking your shit, selling it, and fuck you."

                The most plausible explanation (based solely on what I've read on Slashdot so far) is:

                Right now, people are taking photos from TwitPic and using them however they want. TwitPic is partnering with a company to be the official method by which you can commercially use pictures from TwitPic. This certainly does involve money going to TwitPic (so, yes, they are selling your photos and not paying you, so the fact is true, but the way it's presented as a big "Fuck You" is not).

                I thought it was framed as "Twitpic is taking your shit, selling it", I didn't see a single fuck you in the article. The fuck you is implied.

                If you post a picture and AP decides to run it without compensation, if you hold the copyright you can sue them for compensation. If TwitPic sold them the rights to the image for a 5 cents, there's nothing you can do about it.

                Right now there's nothing you can reasonably do about it. If the AP were to use a photo of yours, do *you* think you'd go through the effort to sue them?

                TwitPic has to have some amount of copyright granted to them or they can't even publish your works at all. At least this way they can do something that the vast majority of their users cannot do, and that is provide something other than a wild west approach to licensing the images. You still retain copyright and can sell them if you want.

                It's reasonable to

                • Given how easy it is in the UK: Yes, I would - and more to the point, friends have already been through this with AP and others

                  NOrmally a letter detailing the offence, setting out compensation (higher than normal photo rates as it was taken without permission) and mentioning reserving the right to take the matter to small claims court means they settle immediately. Magistrates take an inordintately dim view of companies fucking about with members of the public, and so most companies settle.

                  • by node 3 (115640)

                    Given how easy it is in the UK: Yes, I would - and more to the point, friends have already been through this with AP and others

                    NOrmally a letter detailing the offence, setting out compensation (higher than normal photo rates as it was taken without permission) and mentioning reserving the right to take the matter to small claims court means they settle immediately. Magistrates take an inordintately dim view of companies fucking about with members of the public, and so most companies settle.

                    Then you're in the minority. Hooray for you. The simple solution is: don't use TwitPic.

            • Amen to that, just to repeat parent : "..if you were intending to sell them, throwing them up on TwitPic for free seems a bit idiotic in the first place"

        • by node 3 (115640)

          Well, this is Slashdot after all, the land of ideology, fantasy, and paranoia. In a place like this, any sliver of a fact can easily be "proven" to be the result of nothing less than the most evil possible thing it could lead to.

      • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @03:51PM (#36112026)

        One of the deals is with WENN to sell celebrities' pictures, specifically. However, the adjusted ToS does indeed essentially mean they can sell Joe Schmoe's pictures just as well.

        This was my submission with a few more links:
        http://slashdot.org/submission/1575674/TwitPic-to-start-selling-users-pictures [slashdot.org]

        That said... one part of TwitPic dude's blog statement rings very true. A lot of media are simply taking pictures and videos off the interwebs - be that TwitPic and YouTube or quasistevesdomain.com - and publish them in newspapers, in magazine articles, broadcast them on TV, etc.

        If you're lucky they'll add a source:TwitPic / source:YouTube (which of course mean absolutely nothing as it doesn't identify the user at all) / source:quasistevesdomain.com .

        I say "if you're lucky", because if you catch media doing this and try to point out that you retain the copyrights to that picture (not so on TwitPic anymore, not so for ages on YouTube, but certainly so on quasistevesdomain.com ) and would like to talk about their licensing the picture appropriately... oh boy. Unless you already have a lawyer ready that can spell things out for them directly, you're going to hear from their legal department on how you should be *glad* they used your picture/video, how it can bring you exposure, and how you should leverage that exposure to gain business. Just how that business should be gained when the next media company is also just going to use your picture/video is not entirely clear.

        But, then again, I suppose that is very much in line with music / movie downloaders telling artists that they should be happy that they're downloading because it helps spread the word. Or something.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          So you're basically saying copyright only works for big companies?

          • I'm pretty sure I'm saying it tends not to work for either big company or Joe Schmoe at large.

            People will download movies, complaints / lawsuits or not.

            Companies will use user content, complaints / lawsuits or not.

            Of course big companies do have an advantage over an individual Joe Schmoe. A legal team, or even legal representatives through organizations such as the MPAA, versus an individual is not very balanced when compared to an individual versus a media outlet which also has a legal team / legal repres

            • by CastrTroy (595695)
              So what if some user of TwitPic posts some GettyImages file to twitpic, and then TwitPic tries to selll that to someone else, and they reuse it. Not every image on TwitPic is created by the person who uploads it. How is twitpic going to guarantee they don't get in a load of trouble for selling pics that they don't have the rights to sell?
              • I'm guessing that's why they're partnering with WENN and limiting things to celebrity pictures, at least at this point in time as far as the public eye goes.

                WENN have the infrastucture and know-how to handle image origins; at least when it comes to (potentially) notable (to some) subjects. Especially in the case of celebrities' pictures (pictures that celebrities upload, in case that was ambiguous), the celebrity in question - or their agent - can be contacted to verify the picture's origin.

        • by Elbereth (58257) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @04:39PM (#36112542) Journal

          Isn't this the exact argument that Slashdot usually uses when people talk about piracy? It's impossible to steal content, because the content producer still has their own content, and, by God, they should be happy that you're pirating their content, because now it's the dominant software or a popular song.

          • by Lundse (1036754)

            True in one sense (which still makes them hypocrites).

            What is often heard defended here is the freedom to use any information that is free, for personal enjoyment or helping others. I don't think I have seen anyone argue that you can make money directly off other people's information (in itself). There is no good reason why a person or company should get to make money off something another person created - but neither is there a reason not to allow people to enjoy those good.

            Enjoyment of art, science, knowl

            • by node 3 (115640)

              There is no good reason why a person or company should get to make money off something another person created

              As long as the arrangement is voluntary, I see no reason why someone should *not* be allowed to make money off of someone else's work. In fact, that's pretty much the point of having money in the first place, as a way of facilitating the exchange of goods and services, including creative goods and services.

              • by Lundse (1036754)

                Because if we do not allow it, then everyone will just be able to get what they want. Non-scarce good. That someone could make money of it, if we allowed it, is an argument that can equally be applied for a patent on breathing, the right to use gravity and protection rackets.

                We do not need an incentive system, for people to want music, literature and other art. People already want it, and charging for it will not make them want it more (except if you put a lowercase "i" in front of it too).

                But I was actuall

                • by node 3 (115640)

                  Because if we do not allow it, then everyone will just be able to get what they want. Non-scarce good. That someone could make money of it, if we allowed it, is an argument that can equally be applied for a patent on breathing, the right to use gravity and protection rackets.

                  Gravity and breathing aren't inventions or creative works.

                  We do not need an incentive system, for people to want music, literature and other art. People already want it, and charging for it will not make them want it more (except if you put a lowercase "i" in front of it too).

                  If someone wants to sell their art, I don't see why that should be a problem. It's their work, they should decide the terms it is shared with others. Do *you* work for free? Why should you force anyone else to? And it's a straw man to argue whether art requires an incentive system. It doesn't, but it definitely can and does benefit from one. For example, people will make movies, but they will not be able to make big budget films without the ability t

                  • And it's a straw man to argue whether art requires an incentive system. It doesn't, but it definitely can and does benefit from one. For example, people will make movies, but they will not be able to make big budget films without the ability to make the money back, and pay everyone involved.

                    Well, let's see what such a benefit has brought us. Currently on theaters: Bridesmaids Jumping the Broom Something Borrowed Fast Five Prom Go For It! Scream 4 Rio Hobo With a Shotgun Too bad I didn't find Michael Bay's crap of the week. Still, I'd argue that the idea of ROI does not benefit art at all.

                  • by Lundse (1036754)

                    ---

                    Because if we do not allow it, then everyone will just be able to get what they want. Non-scarce good. That someone could make money of it, if we allowed it, is an argument that can equally be applied for a patent on breathing, the right to use gravity and protection rackets.

                    Gravity and breathing aren't inventions or creative works.

                    This is beside the point. I was arguing that just because a system of ownership (or other system of privileges) will enable someone to make money, this does not mean that system is a good idea. Allowing ownership over the concept of zero (which was indeed quite the invention) would halt all progress or allow one guy to own basically everything. Not a good idea, even though money can be made. This was my point, in the above section.

                    We do not need an incentive system, for people to want music, literature and other art. People already want it, and charging for it will not make them want it more (except if you put a lowercase "i" in front of it too).

                    If someone wants to sell their art, I don't see why that should be a problem. It's their work, they should decide the terms it is shared with others.

                    I respectfully disagree. They can of course sell it all they want, but if

            • by tehcyder (746570)

              True in one sense (which still makes them hypocrites).

              What is often heard defended here is the freedom to use any information that is free, for personal enjoyment or helping others. I don't think I have seen anyone argue that you can make money directly off other people's information (in itself). There is no good reason why a person or company should get to make money off something another person created - but neither is there a reason not to allow people to enjoy those good.

              Enjoyment of art, science, knowledge and any information is, just like the information itself, a non-scarce good.

              That is illogical. If the information can be copied at no loss to the owner, why shouldn't you then make money off it? If the owner has the right to stop you making money off it, why shouldn't he also have the right not to let you copy it at all?

              • by Lundse (1036754)

                - "That is illogical. If the information can be copied at no loss to the owner, why shouldn't you then make money off it? If the owner has the right to stop you making money off it, why shouldn't he also have the right not to let you copy it at all?"

                In a nutshell: Because the money that can be made from a given piece of information is not non-scarce like the information itself. There is a finite amount of money to be made, but an infinite amount of copies.
                Hence; it is ok to make copies, not money.

                If a given

          • by Anonymous Coward
            I was not aware that "Slashdot" was a monolithic entity with a single opinion. I was under the impression it was a vast number of people with varying opinions. Forgive me if this is a radical concept for you but maybe, just maybe, different sets of people are expressing those contradictory opinions that seem to have you so flummoxed.
          • by Aceticon (140883)

            It all about profiting or not from somebody else's work.

            While a lot of /.ers think nothing of pirating music for personal use, you'll be hard-pressed to find one that condones breaking other people's copyright for profit.

            It is thus perfectly possible to hold a position on copyright where one defends the right of people to freely copy ANY data for personal, non-profit used while being against people or companies using copyrighted material for profit without the authorisation of the copyright owners.

            And then

        • I suppose that is very much in line with music / movie downloaders telling artists that they should be happy that they're downloading because it helps spread the word. Or something.

          More like the RIAA telling the artists that they should be happy because they made them a superstar, while they cash in on their fame.

      • Re:Non-story (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cgenman (325138) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @04:35PM (#36112504) Homepage

        A few months back I had photographed a subway fire here in Boston, and tweeted it. It showed up on a few news organization's websites, with proper attribution. It didn't occur to me to be outraged about it or anything, as it was a newsworthy photo. And if you're putting something up on Twitter it's not like you're intending to horde it. They used it well, in context of the story, and actually attributed it. Good on them.

        The thing is, by partnering with certain organizations (aka getting paid), this implies that Twitpic now plans to stop others from doing this. I.E. by posting to Twitter via Twitpic, they now plan on stopping the dissemination of the photographs to people who don't pay. They're reducing the possible distribution of newsworthy images. Which to me, reduces my value of uploading it. Further, it adds situations where things aren't attributed, or are used entirely out of context (photos of my children being used to sell Viagra would be totally legal).

        It's strange. This takes things from basically the situation an end user would want... Things intended to be disseminated get disseminated, while bad uses can be sued to be stopped... into one where the good uses are cut back and the bad uses are suddenly AOK.

        Does anyone know which twitter clients use twitpic for hosting?

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by x*yy*x (2058140)
          It should also be noted that the submitter calls him "newspaper photographer". It's out of his income if people post newsworthy images on twitter and newspapers use those instead, so it makes sense for him to rant about it and twist it.
        • by node 3 (115640)

          Nerds, gotta love their ability to logic. If something is "possible", it's treated as "inevitable". But somehow only for things that are bad.

          TwitPic isn't going to sell your family pictures for use in a Viagra ad. If they did, people would actually have a reason to leave TwitPic, instead of the currently imaginary reason. On the other hand, right now someone can take your pictures to sell Viagra. At least this way TwitPic can better deal with such a misuse, and would in fact have a monetary incentive to do

          • If something is "possible", it's treated as "inevitable". But somehow only for things that are bad.

            Slight correction. If something is possible, it is inevitable. But only for things that are profitable to someone. Unfortunately, it seems easier and thus more widespread to profit by screwing others out of a piece of the pie rather than profiting by increasing the amount of pie available for everyone. I'm not saying that is happening here, this actually seems reasonable to me. But as a general rule, y
        • (photos of my children being used to sell Viagra would be totally legal).

          Probably not totally. Plus it'd be a little creepy, I think. Unless the ad went "Want to FUCK these KIDS? Well, with VIAGRA, you can!". (It wouldn't really solve the "creepy" part, but the "a little" bit would certainly not be applicable)

    • Re:Non-story (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rurik (113882) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @03:06PM (#36111414)

      If they're securing the rights to do so, then they have plans to do so.

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        Yes, and no. A large part of EULAs are what if, or rainy day scenarios. Some lawyer decides if they ever decide at some point to sell the images they may as well be ready for it. Facebook has had this in their terms of services for years yet there's no reports of people's photos being used yet either.

    • by VMaN (164134)

      If they are not planning to sell them, they shouldn't add the clause. PERIOD.

      • by Desler (1608317)

        They shouldn't add a clause that says they are partnering with people to prevent content from being taken without permission and misused? Why is that somehow a bad thing and how does that translate into them selling the pictures?

        • You can infer it from the part about "distributing newsworthy content". They admit to their intention to distribute newsworthy content.

          My next question: Would you expect them to distribute this material for free {at a loss}, or will they structure the content distribution in a way to minimize their losses?

          Proof? Maybe not. Probable? Very much so.

    • by similar_name (1164087) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @05:30PM (#36113050)

      You know what, if you intent to sell your photos yourself and have full copyright on them, what about not uploading them all around the internet and giving them right to use them?

      My personal TOS says that by sending files to my computer websites agree that I take sole ownership of said files. They all seem to agree since every time I get on the web, sites are constantly sending me files.

  • a bunch a pictures of twits?

    Sorry, couldn't help myself. Twitter is the worst name ever...
    • by reboot246 (623534)
      Make that pictures of twats, and you've got yourself a deal!
    • by atarione (601740)

      /sheepishly raises hand. Oh wait I thought u meant something else.

    • by kehren77 (814078)

      It's actually a good question. Most of the twitpics I've seen are terribly shot, blurry messes. I don't see where these would be of value to anyone unless they were making a "how to take bad pictures" textbook.

    • by Bieeanda (961632)
      I'd ask myself the same thing, but apparently class photos and yearbook sales are booming!

      And Twitter is a perfectly good name. It's an actual word for one thing, without a superfluous Z to be seen. Besides that, who hasn't heard someone say 'A little bird told me...'

  • by chemicaldave (1776600) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @03:07PM (#36111428)
    Oh wait. It's not an article. It's an opinion piece. TwitPic will sell your photos? Where the fuck does it say that? You just made that up. This is FUD to the extreme. Who the fuck allowed this on the front page?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It says it in the TOS... If they want to 'protect user content' from those 'organizations'. Twitpic should have sued those organization first, then may be settle with an agreement.

    • Posted by timothy on Thursday May 12, @03:59PM from the click-no-to-agree dept.

  • Most sites that accept user content make them the property of the site (Slashdot being a notable exception). This includes CNN iReporter or whatever they call it where idiots give away valuable footage to CNN for free when they could make an easy 5 digits on it.

    • by ZipK (1051658) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @04:09PM (#36112204)

      Most sites that accept user content make them the property of the site (Slashdot being a notable exception).

      Not quite. Most sites that accept user content do so under terms that grant the site an irrevocable, perpetual, transferable and sublicensable right to reuse the material. A classic example of this is Amazon's Conditions of Use [amazon.com], which state in part:

      If you do post content or submit material, and unless we indicate otherwise, you grant Amazon a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display such content throughout the world in any media.

      You retain the copyright, and may make additional grants to other parties, but you cannot revoke the grant you made to the initial site.

  • by DrgnDancer (137700) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @03:08PM (#36111450) Homepage

    So the gist of this guy's blog post is "If I take everything said in the press release and twist it till it screams, it sounds vaguely like they're trying to do something bad. OMG PANIC!!111!!!!one". I know it's popular to think that everything any corporation of any size does is evil, but do you think we could at least get bent out of shape by stuff that actually is happening, and is actually bad?

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Either they are putting this mechanism in place or not. If this sort of mechanism is in place or is planned then it should be a big fat red flag and all of the FUD mongers should be out in force with their tinfoil hats to shout these jerks down.

      You're buying all those guns but you're not actually planning on using them.... suuuuure.

      • Seriously, who do these people providing free services think they are? They should just keep providing the free services and shut up and be thankful they get to give to us.

        • It's one thing to splash advertising across the screen to fund free services. Less so, but somewhat understandable, is commodification of user data. But basically telling anyone who has a photo on your servers that "all your bases are us" seems to go beyond that to outright seizure of someone else's property based on a user agreement seems to cross a line somehow.

          • by daktari (1983452)
            What bothers me about some of these "free" service providers is that they start out quite innocent: providing an appealing/worthy package that attracts a lot of initial interest and grows their user base fast. Further down the line, when use of these services has become ingrained into society and *users* have built an online community, bit by bit they start to change their TOS to the point where, unless the tin foil hat brigade flags them down, the TOS have become much less fair. I would respect their busin
  • ... you *** twits!
  • BREAKING NEWS!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Schnapple (262314) <tomkidd@viatexas.cPERIODom minus punct> on Thursday May 12, 2011 @03:40PM (#36111876) Homepage

    Seemingly altruistic social media site which performs a useful service to millions of users for free turns out to have business plan to profit from people's usage of the site, and does not in fact exist just to be free.

    I'm disheartened to realize that there are still people who do not get this concept. Of course TwitPic is going to sell your photos and not cut you in on the deal. You agreed to it in the T&C. Even if it wasn't in the T&C, the clause of "oh hey we can change this at any time with no notice and you proactively agree to any changes" is probably in there. Why in the hell did you think they set up this service? Because they want to "connect people through social experiences"? Fuck no, they want to sell this shit to whomever will pay for it.

    Same as Facebook. Same as LinkedIn. Same as every other site that does this for free.

    You should just assume anything that you put online will be sold to the highest bidder and adjust your habits accordingly. If you don't what that photo of your dick to be on a porn site don't put it on TwitPic.

    • It seems like you are forgetting that they can already monitize the service, as most of these image services also force a page load, which means some sort of ad revenue. Your way is not the only way to make a buck...
      • Whatever happened to providing a useful service and having your clients pay you for it?

        • That still exists, but does not always make the best choice for certain industries. Would have Facebook become as popular had it been a pay service? It's hard to tell, but as a student during its start-up - I would venture to guess not.
        • See how well you do with a for-pay webmail service.

          • by CastrTroy (595695)
            Have one included with my hosting package for $10 a month. Everybody complains that their data is all hosted on other peoples servers and that they don't own their own data. Yet most people could easily afford $10 a month for a good shared host (they can get as cheap as $4), and then we could all host our own apps and not worry about who owns our data.In my shared hosting, I can easily have a blog, webmail, news article sharing, photo sharing, and many other things. I think the only things that's missing
        • by Lordfly (590616)

          >>Whatever happened to providing a useful service and having your clients pay you for it?

          As a Twitpic user, you are not a client, you are the sellable resource. Most companies we use online do not think of you as a client in their business plan; you are the valuable resource they sell to their actual clients, advertisers and data miners.

        • Oh, that still exists. Except "client" is no longer synonymous with "user" in the online world. The client is the advertising provider. The service is the attention and browsing habits of your viewers. Your viewers play the incidental toys you've put online to capture that attention.

          It's become more than a bit ridiculous - all the more so because no matter how illogical it is, companies are *succeeding* at turning a profit based on the business model I described above -- over and over again.

      • It seems like you are forgetting that they can already monitize the service, as most of these image services also force a page load, which means some sort of ad revenue. Your way is not the only way to make a buck...

        And you're forgetting that most (successful) companies like to have more than one revenue stream. Advertising is one stream; direct sales of content could be another. There may be good reasons for a company to ignore direct sales of content (e.g., because the user base is getting more and more pissed off at the very thought), but altruism sure ain't one of them.

    • Or, in simpler terms: if you are using a free service then you are the product. The service itself is just there to entice the product (again, you ) to show up. This is not new. It is the exact same business model that has been used by television-based companies for decades.
    • Schnapple would have me believe that I am taking advantage of a service which can get my photo out to a billion viewers who would not otherwise see my photo. If that were possible, what would happen if Google provided a service for desperate musicians or other artists to upload their content? And my point is... um... get an engineering degree. Because even if I refuse to provide the content to Twitpic, others may.
    • If you don't what that photo of your dick to be on a porn site don't put it on TwitPic.

      or even just a medical oddities site

  • i've gotten lost some place. does this mean that a free to use picture posting service is claiming equal copy right ownership to pictures that are freely uploaded which then provides the pictures as proprietary content to proprietary content providers so said proprietary content providers can add the pictures to their proprietary content in order to profit without the freely usable posting service giving equal profits to the originator of the originally free content?

    • i've gotten lost some place. does this mean that a free to use picture posting service is claiming equal copy right ownership to pictures that are freely uploaded which then provides the pictures as proprietary content to proprietary content providers so said proprietary content providers can add the pictures to their proprietary content in order to profit without the freely usable posting service giving equal profits to the originator of the originally free content?

      No. This sounds like the same kind of thing online companies have been doing just about forever to protect their sites from unscrupulous people who download in bulk and repost, or who take content from a site for republication for other purposes. They want to be able to protect their users by using copyright to go after people who misuse the posted images. That means it probably IS for the protection of their users. Otherwise every Twitter user would have to police their own content. It's in Twitter's b

    • by ScentCone (795499)
      Yes, That's correct. And it's perfectly fine because nobody is forcing you to use that service to share pictures of your cat with your Aunt Sukey.
  • Unfortunately no Twitter client I use allows me to use a custom picture-hosting service. This twitpic nonsense has forced me to read the TOS for the other offered options (yfrog, plixi - or rather lockerz - etc etc). Turns out that all these services suck similarly. I just want a f'n service that acknowledges that I have the sole ownership of my photos and the sole right to extract profit from them (not that I likely ever would). Guess I need to learn PHP so I can run my own hosting service now, and deal w
    • by qubezz (520511)
      No, you just need an app to run on your pictures before you upload them that resizes them down to nearly unusable, and puts an obnoxious watermark with a copyright notice and contact information for viewers to purchase rights. Twitpic then has an irrevocable license to sell your advertising material.
      • by larwe (858929)
        Heh :) I like the way you think. Maybe also an embedded QR-code leading directly to some filthy site, so if the picture is printed in other media it will lead to lawsuits.
  • Oh look, a slashdot article about a blog post about a blog post about ToS changes at TwitPic.

    Yes, the TOS gives the right to redistribute. If you did not assign those rights, wouldn't that basically mean that they couldn't host your content at all?

    Outside of that (I could easily be wrong in my interpretation, IANAL): yes, it's technically possible that they can sell your content. . But here's the thing - check the TOS for almost any major "social" service that accepts user generated content and you

  • you're not the customer; you're the product being sold." -Andrew Lewis (metafilter:blue_beetle) It's in my quote file for a reason.

If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.

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