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Instagram: We Won't Sell Your Photos 234

Posted by Soulskill
from the perhaps-now-the-internet-can-stop-panicking dept.
hugheseyau writes "Earlier, we discussed news that Instagram introduced a new version of their Privacy Policy and Terms of Service that will take effect in thirty days. The changes seemed to allow Instagram to sell users' photos, and many users were upset. Instagram now says 'it is not our intention to sell your photos' and that 'users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos.' This is good news for Instagram users." And so closes another chapter of "We Let Lawyers Write a Legal Document and The Internet Freaked Out."
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Instagram: We Won't Sell Your Photos

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  • The First Rule (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geminidomino (614729) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:03PM (#42331459) Journal

    Rule #0 of business agreements: If a contract says that the other party CAN do something, proceed under the assumption that they WILL do it.

  • by Midnight_Falcon (2432802) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:03PM (#42331461)
    While they may not intend to exercise their rights, they still HAVE the rights to be able to use any instagram photos in ads, and use that for commercial purposes, etc.

    So this is a great example of doublespeak/equivocation -- our contract lets us do what we want, but we promise not to use what it allows us to right now to avoid a PR frankenstorm.

    I don't see how the case is closed after this...it isn't so much a case of we let lawyers write a document, as, we're just making sure we're "protected" to keep our "options" open in the future when we might "want" to exercise our rights to "your" photos...

    Given Facebook's history on privacy policy shenanigans, I think any reasonably prudent person would not trust Instagram's assertions..

  • by jackb_guppy (204733) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:03PM (#42331463)

    So when is the new new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service will be shown?

  • "Mistake" my Ass. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grog6 (85859) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:05PM (#42331469)

    They Got Caught, and had to respond.

    There is a business plan on fire in a trashcan somewhere, most likely; or just put off for awhile.

    We'll see this again, wait and see. And not as a repost, lol.

  • Nonsense. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by voice of unreason (231784) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:06PM (#42331487)

    The chapter is closed? Nonsense. They haven't offered to change the contract, they just claim that everyone's misinterpreted it. Which gives you no more rights than you had before. If it's in the contract, it's in the contract. Their PR statements would not affect in the slightest their legal ability to use your photos.

  • by Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:08PM (#42331501)

    It is the actual EULA/UA that matters. Until it is properly amended all this announcement is worth is a loud stinky fart.

  • by h8mx (2713391) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:08PM (#42331511)

    This article shed some light on the new TOS for me:

    What the new terms of service really mean | The Verge [theverge.com]

  • by alphatel (1450715) * on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:09PM (#42331531)
    'it is not our intention to sell your photos' is not the same as "We won't ever sell your photos". History make a note before this is erased from yourself.
  • by tool462 (677306) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:13PM (#42331561)

    any reasonably prudent person

    I believe that set is disjoint with the set of all instagram users.

  • bs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:16PM (#42331581)

    "Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos"

    No.. they dont claim "ownership"... they do claim a perpetual and unlimited rights though... which is all the benefits of ownership, with none of the liabilities.

  • Too Late (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:25PM (#42331661) Homepage

    Instagram already showed us who they are on the inside. How they feel about their users. That they see them as cattle to be slaughtered and sold in whatever way most suits their customers, the advertisers. The only thing that has changed is they got caught and so they are going to hide their disdain for a while until this storm blows over.

    It is not this policy that is unacceptable, it is their attitude. They have shown that they cannot be trusted, and it is our duty -- as the silent hand of the free market -- to put them out of business as a warning to others.

    Delete your Instagram account, and never darken their door again.

  • by Lehk228 (705449) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:27PM (#42331677) Journal
    not just that, but they could end up without a choice in the matter, if they go bankrupt and are carved up and auctioned off, the contract rights they posess will be one of the things sold
  • Re:The First Rule (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 19thNervousBreakdown (768619) <davec-slashdot@NOsPam.lepertheory.net> on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:29PM (#42331693) Homepage

    Seriously. This is an insult to our intelligence. Of course, it'll probably fly because most people haven't had to deal with the inevitable conclusion when they change their mind, or the business isn't growing fast enough and they have to find money somewhere, or enough time has passed that they think they can get away with it, or somebody else is in charge with different notions of what a promise means and is empowered by this clause.

    "Oh, no, we won't ever actually do that. It's just in the contract because ... uh ... well, it's just there! Don't worry about it!"

  • Damn lawyers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Monoman (8745) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:37PM (#42331763) Homepage

    That's why I often wish laws, contracts, etc could contain sections written in plain/common language explaining the intention/spirit of the document. Of course it would never work but I can dream.

  • by causality (777677) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:38PM (#42331779)

    Yes those evil lawyers. Fucking slashdot with its predictable "commentary."

    Lawyers are one of the few priesthoods left in Western society. The purpose of a priesthood is to guard information from the uninitiated, so that most people are dependent on the priests.

    The Catholic Church of medieval times really hated the idea of a Bible written in the native languages of the laypeople. They preferred Latin, a language that was generally taught only to the clergy at that time. If there is ever a movement to simplify the law and remove the legalese, so that the average person could easily understand and apply it without professional help, you will see a similar outcry from the lawyers.

    The difference between a lawyer and a doctor is that the human body is inherently complex. The law is only so complex because men have made it so.

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:39PM (#42331787) Homepage Journal

    After we're done turning them over to any TLA with the words "defense", "security", "intelligence", or "investigation" in their names.

  • by NFN_NLN (633283) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:48PM (#42331869)

    And so closes another chapter of "We Let Lawyers Write a Legal Document and The Internet Freaked Out."

    More like, "We were caught trying to stick it to our users BUT they called us on our shit."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:52PM (#42331917)

    Instagram says "It is not our intention to sell your photos". Unsaid was "But our intention doesn't matter, since Facebook controls us now, and only their intention matters."

  • by hey! (33014) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @07:32PM (#42332235) Homepage Journal

    I don't put anything on Google services that I might want to claim copyright on, for similar reasons. Google's TOS includes an unlimited license for them to publish any material that users put on their services:

    When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.

    Here's Google's disclaimer:

    Google does not claim any ownership in any of the content, including any text, data, information, images, photographs, music, sound, video, or other material, that you upload, transmit or store in your Gmail account.

    But note what Google does *not* promise to do: avoid harming users' economic interests in their data. Yes, you might still *own* your data, but you give Google practically unlimited permission to do anything it pleases with your data, up to and including binding it in a paper book and selling it.

    I'm not particularly concerned they'd do that -- that's sure to be viewed as unconscionable. I believe that what Google wants to do are things that some jury somewhere might construe as "publishing". Unfortunately, that same jury that would exonerate Google based on the TOS would also strip the author of certain special rights authors enjoy for unpublished manuscripts -- secrecy, for example. It is also possible (I hope) that at under future changes in copyright law, Google's having quasi-published a manuscript might effect its copyright term.

    Scientists might have similar issues with inadvertently "publishing" data by storing it on some Google service (Gmail for example), thus rendering it unpublishable in an academic journal.

    If Google intended to protect the users' interest in their data, they'd qualify the permissions they claim to "publish" your data so it only applied to public facing services. Yahoo does this:

    "Publicly accessible" areas of the Yahoo! Services are those areas of the Yahoo! network of properties that are intended by Yahoo! to be available to the general public.

    So I avoid GMail and use Yahoo Mail for anything I don't want "published", because Yahoo doesn't claim a right to "publish" emails and their attached documents, but in Gmail Google *does*.

  • Re:The First Rule (Score:5, Insightful)

    by skids (119237) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @07:58PM (#42332415) Homepage

    or somebody else is in charge with different notions of what a promise means

    This usually. People who accuse the "Internet" of "Freaking Out" over such things seem to have no grasp of the fact that we live in a world where people with the approximate moral value system of The Kergen are regular recruits for the decision-making table. Either that or they fail miserably to realize the implications of that.

  • Re:The First Rule (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nedlohs (1335013) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @08:31PM (#42332657)

    The lawmakers often don't intend to use it for such. The lobbyists who actually wrote it do of course, but they aren't officially the lawmakers.

  • Re:Nonsense. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @09:40PM (#42333017) Homepage Journal

    I'm guessing they're just going to change the language into a more confusing form. Same terms, just more confusing so they can try to get away with it.

    Given the outcry thus far, they'd have to be really stupid to try that. There will be too many people scrutinizing the language, including lawyers, who are ready to interpret any such attempt.

  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @11:17AM (#42337149)

    More like, " We were caught trying to stick it to our product BUT they called us on our shit."

    "So now we're trying to see if meaningless reassurances will smooth things over." What matters is the agreement terms. Until they change, nothing has chaned.

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