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Instagram Wants To Sell Users' Photos Without Notice 313

Posted by timothy
from the oh-and-by-the-way dept.
DavidGilbert99 writes "Many Instagram users have reacted angrily to a proposed change to the apps terms of service by owner Facebook, which would give the social network 'perpetual' rights to all photos on Instagram, allowing it to sell the photos to advertisers without notice — or payment to the user. The new policy will come into effect on 16 January, just four months after Facebook completed its $1bn acquisition of Instagram. It states that Facebook has a right to distribute any content posted on Instagram without paying the user royalties:" Also worth reading Declan McCullagh's take on it.
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Instagram Wants To Sell Users' Photos Without Notice

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  • Out of Dodge (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jetra (2622687) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @09:48AM (#42324707)
    Never had instagram. Now I never will get one.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @09:54AM (#42324749)

    It's not like there's any real competitors to Instagram. I mean, we never uploaded pictures to the internet before them, right?

  • by hsmith (818216) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @09:56AM (#42324761)
    They want to sell shitty pictures, taken by shitty camera phones, that have shitty filters applied to them? Great business model there.
  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @09:57AM (#42324773) Homepage Journal

    at what point is enough, enough. When are people going to quit Facebook/Instagram/whatever en masse as these deliberate and calculated abuses continue?

    These are your pictures. You own them. No corporation has the right to use them without your permission just because they are holding them.

    Sure, one can always not put up pictures, but that defeats the whole point of Instagram, doesn't it?

    There are options. One could always upload the picture with a big watermark on it or plaster a copyright symbol and your name on it, but knowing these shysters, they would just remove those things and still claim it's theirs.

    Just another reason why I don't use any of these "services".

  • by isorox (205688) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:06AM (#42324863) Homepage Journal

    They want to sell shitty pictures, taken by shitty camera phones, that have shitty filters applied to them? Great business model there.

    This is nothing about using them for general advertising. This is about using them to
    1) Work out where you've been, what you've done, and where you're likely to go for targetted adverts
    2) Using your pictures in adverts targeted to you and your friends. "Hay Bob, Dave just got back from Rome (with photo of Dave in the Colosseum), click here to book a flight!"

  • by msauve (701917) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:17AM (#42325003)
    "celebs aren't crazy"

    +1 funny
  • by Miamicanes (730264) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:19AM (#42325039)

    How can Instagram casually assume that the uploader even HAS the right to assign republishing rights to them? OK, fine... the TOS requires that uploaders have the rights. We all know that a certain percentage won't comply. How many times does Instagram really want to spin the roulette wheel and risk getting nailed by a lawsuit from someone who owns the copyright on a wrongly-uploaded photo... in a strict-liability jurisdiction with joint and several liability? In English, that means Jim might, under Instagram TOS, be 100% liable for infringement if he uploads a photo and gets Instagram sued when they republish it, but at the end of the day, Jim isn't going to pay that million-dollar lawsuit... Instagram will, because Jim is likely to be judgment-proof, and any halfway-competent attorney could get the judgment to adhere to Instagram regardless of what they might claim.

    Not to mention, model releases. If Jim posts pictures taken at a birthday party his child attends, Instagram would legally need releases from every person (or their legal guardian) recognizable in the picture (with a few exceptions, but it's still a minefield).

    Did I mention the legal suicide mission of using pics that have anything to DO with kids from Europe? I think in Germany, it's not even legal to use kids in an advertisement for anything, period... consent from fame-whoring parents or not. Or for that matter, the fact that fucked up French copyright law allows you to copyright the image of buildings and structures, even structures that dominate the horizon and are visible from literally miles away (like the Eiffel Tower and the Millau Viaduct), and (in legal theory, at least) make it almost impossible to publish photos taken almost anywhere in Paris (due to the large number of "historically and/or architecturally-significant structures") if they show a complete building facade of one or more buildings in the background? Granted, the French situation is slightly unique, and is used mainly by the French government as a tool for censorship of unflattering and politically-sensitive images, but that's just one country out of hundreds.

    There's a reason why big corporations get all of their public photos from companies like Getty Images -- it lets their management and lawyers sleep at night knowing that the copyright clearances and model releases have all been taken care of, and the image vendor itself is big enough to pay any lawsuit that might arise from the photo's licensed use. It's also why some people have had so much fun showing the same clip-art models really getting around, and showing up in everything from ads to "happy employee" photos to patients at STD clinics.

  • Re:Stockphotos (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheBogBrushZone (975846) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:30AM (#42325155)
    Odd that everyone is complaining about their land-grab of photographs and very few are mentioning their permitted use of your username and likeness which seems a lot more objectionable to me. Facebook is full of invasive and misleading ads for dating sites that would just love a cache of readily available real names and profile photos to attach to their fake users. I'd much rather they nicked my spur-of-the-moment snaps than used me to defraud lonely and desperate people.
  • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:32AM (#42325169) Journal

    For the record, does Instagram's TOS have the usual "we can change this policy at our discretion without notice at any time" famous clause? Because this strikes me as a huge Contract Law grab. Last I knew from when Contract Law almost made sense, EULA/TOS type agreements are supposedly agreements between both vendor and the user, and being generous enough to say the user actually read the legalese.

    However a policy change like this then becomes something our user *specifically did not agree to*. In particular, our hypothetical careful user probably looked at the original policy, decided it was okay, and then posted his pictures. No rational user can expect to use a service allowing for *unlimited* unilateral policy changes that may occur at random points in the future. You might as well say "we have the right to come to your house and take additional pictures of you to verify your Instagram identity with the police" or some nonsense.

  • by Spamalope (91802) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:34AM (#42325203)
    Coming soon:

    Take a good picture eating out with friends at an Italian restaurant? FB's marketing dept. will call the owner selling a FB marketing campaign based on your image. Later, FB ads with your picture will say 'Smitty loves Tony's Italian restaurant, you will too.'

    The process will be automated using geo-tags in the images and the popularity of images posted.

    Thank you for further crowd sourcing the last of the marketing materials we used to pay for...

    If they use facial recognition to identify and use only pictures of instagram users, doesn't that free them from any worries about model releases given these contract terms?

  • Re:Stockphotos (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @12:16PM (#42326297) Homepage Journal

    I'm sure their lawyers found some way to make it legal, but I find this practice unsettling. It seems unethical

    I"m curious what they're going about what most photographers have to do...a model release form, signed for each person appearing in the image, if it is to be used to generate $$$.

    I don't think/EM> a blanket statement will do it....possibly would cover the owner of the instagram account as part of their TOS, but for other people in the image, I'm not thinking that will fly legally?

    Of course, IANAL......

  • by Sentrion (964745) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @12:31PM (#42326463)

    Normally I would dismiss your concerns as paranoid, but this summer Facebook asked for my phone number so I could restore my account if I ever forgot my password or got locked out. Then this fall FB made my phone number searchable, so anyone could enter my digits in the FB search bar and pull up my name, complete list of FB friends, and other details. I keep my cell number unlisted for a reason, and for FB to constantly change privacy settings without warning with default setting to "public", I wouldn't trust FB to sweep my sidewalks, let alone manage my interpersonal relationships. Of course, FB makes these sort of drastic changes every three months, so I should have known better.

    Recently I just unfriended most of my FB "friends", such as ex-classmates I barely knew as a teenager and don't really want to know now. I have maximum privacy settings in place, but again I don't trust FB to keep anything private anyway, so now I only keep a FB page as a beacon for acquaintances and colleagues to find me so I can exchange real contact info like email or maybe phone numbers, while screening out the weirdos I want nothing to do with. I have family that wouldn't understand my valid reasons for dropping them from FB, so I just keep them there as "friends" for their own amusement, but I do not post status updates and my profile is very watered down so as not to present all my personal life to the whole world, advertising companies, or governments.

    There was a time when it was explicitly understood NEVER to give away personal details, such as your real name, birthday, age, or location over the internet. I'm shocked and amazed how FB totally flipped that concept and now controls everybody's personal address book.

  • by thereitis (2355426) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @01:43PM (#42327417) Journal
    It should at *least* only apply to photos uploaded after the deadline. Applying this new policy retroactively should be illegal, frankly.
  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @05:50PM (#42330721)

    Wil Wheaton posted about this. Suppose he or another celebrity is spotted shopping somewhere. He's spotted and a photo is posted on Instagram. So far, so good. He's in a public place and thus has no expectation of privacy. If that user's photo is sold by Instagram for the store and used in an ad campaign implying that Wil Wheaton (or the other celebrity) endorses that store, they could be in for a serious lawsuit. Same for any other individual who hasn't signed a model release, but a celebrity would make for a more high profile case.

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