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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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  • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @09:46AM (#42324683) Homepage Journal
    Instagram bubble
    Like your photos are stubble
    That they'll just whisk away
    And save you the trouble.
    Burma Shave
    • by pinfall (2430412) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:00AM (#42324813)
      So long, and thanks for all the pics!
      • Your Hitchhiker's Guide reference is appreciated, Mr. Pesce.
        • by Dr. Tom (23206)

          Something smells like fish.

          • by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:41AM (#42325281) Homepage Journal

            Something smells like fish.

            Why do you guys keep reminding me of old jokes, which I'm then compelled to share?

            The snake tempts Eve, who shares the apple with Adam before having wild, passionate sex. A while later God walks up and Adam's wearing an apron made of fig leaves.

            "You ate the apple, didn't you?" God asks accusingly.

            "Uh, yeah, we... uh, well, she kinda talked me into it."

            "Ok, where is she?"

            "She's down at the river washing up."

            God says "Damn, I'll never get the smell out of all those fish!"

      • Re:Instagram Bubble (Score:5, Interesting)

        by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:07AM (#42324885)
        Tis is the death of instant ram. No way any celebrities will allow Facebook to profit from their likenesses. Without Bieber, Selena Gomez, and even Playboy Bunnies [thesuperficial.com] (link is sfw), there will be nobody driving the service from the top, and the twihards etc will follow their idols to a new platform. Twitter pics for example? Classic Facebook blunder.
        • by alen (225700) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:12AM (#42324953)

          are you kidding?

          celebs using twitter or instagram is a direct connection to fans. unlike 30 years ago when the only connection was a fan club you had to pay for or the trade magazines

          unlike most geeks, celebs aren't crazy like my dad and don't care if someone makes money off them in a symbiotic business relationship.

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

            +1 funny
          • by gagol (583737)
            I am sure you would like to see your face endorsing any products in exchange of a service worth almost nothing...
            • by tompaulco (629533)
              I am sure you would like to see your face endorsing any products in exchange of a service worth almost nothing...
              Or even better, products that you don't approve of. I can just see the popes face in an ad now. "When I have sex, I always use Trojan brand condoms!".
    • 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:Instagram Bubble (Score:5, Interesting)

        by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:42AM (#42325287)
        Scarier yet, once this is all automated the advertisement might show up within minutes after taking the picture, while you're still at the restaurant.
      • Re:Instagram Bubble (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Americano (920576) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @11:28AM (#42325731)

        Riiiiight. Instagram is going to hire marketing people whose sole job is to scan through the photo streams of literally tens of millions of active users to find the "absolutely killer" photos you took at Applebee's last week, and propose a worldwide marketing campaign featuring YOUR photos, showing how badly-lit, badly-focused, poorly dressed, average-to-downright-ugly people get down with some Jalapeno Poppers, Loaded Fiesta Nachos, and Shrimp Slammers in grainy cell phone images.

        Except that would be the worst business idea ever.

        What's going to happen is, Applebee's is going to make an ad buy on Facebook - "We're opening a new restaurant in Bohunk, Iowa. We'd like to target people ages 21-50 in the area with the news, and let them know we have a special "$17 dollar SUMMER SHRIMP SLAMMER SPECIAL!" Facebook & Instagram, when targeting you for the ad, will find people in your network who have taken photos at other Applebee's (geo-tagged, or checked-in, or #-tagged, likes, +1's, etc.), and put an ad using a photo of your friend, Mike, (or maybe one he took at Applebee's some unfortunate evening), with ad copy saying, "Your friend Mike loves Applebee's too! Why not get together at our new Bohunk location, and enjoy our new $17 SUMMER SHRIMP SLAMMER SPECIAL?!"

      • 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.

      • by chrismcb (983081)

        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.'

        That isn't legal.
        Just because they have the right to use your picture, doesn't mean they have a right to use your image, and name.
        If these are used for promotional purposes, it will be pictures with no one in them, or pictures of crowds.

    • by sneakyimp (1161443) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @01:04PM (#42326847)
      All your photo are belong to us!
  • 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.
    • Re:Out of Dodge (Score:5, Informative)

      by slashmydots (2189826) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:07AM (#42324891)
      If there's one service online I had to pick that's one of the least respectable and most satired with the doucheyest users, it would be Instagram so you're not missing much. Basically the 2 jokes are "Oh, you used an instagram filter. You must be a professional photographer" and "Can you eat a meal without instagramming it?"
      • by plover (150551)

        Your list is missing my favorite description: Instagram is Twitter for illiterates.

        Is it still a joke if it's true?

      • I am of two minds about Instagram, much like twitter. Both have their place, but both are so overused that it makes it hard for the good uses of it to shine. I want to scold people for using it instead of doing the 'darkroom' work later on a real workstation but there is something to be said for living in the moment too.
  • Stockphotos (Score:5, Funny)

    by Quakeulf (2650167) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @09:53AM (#42324743)
    There is going to a lot of food images up for grabs...
    • That gives me an idea. Everyone should take a break from Instagramming their dinner and take a picture of nothing but flowers. Stock photography services are sooooo sick of flowers!
    • by dintech (998802)
      But most of that food depicted went bad about 30 or 40 years ago.
    • Re:Stockphotos (Score:5, Interesting)

      by stephanruby (542433) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:14AM (#42324973)

      A second section allows Facebook to charge money. It says that "a business or other entity may pay us to display your... photos... in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you." That language does not exist in the current terms of use.

      This reminds me of the Judge Judy case where a promoter used a young woman's semi-provocative facebook pictures on flyers to advertise a new strip joint.

    • 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.
      • Re:Stockphotos (Score:4, Interesting)

        by RazorSharp (1418697) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @11:33AM (#42325791)

        I'd much rather they nicked my spur-of-the-moment snaps than used me to defraud lonely and desperate people.

        I know. I mean, it's so unfair that these lonely and desperate people might see a picture of my sexy ass, which will prompt them to sign up for some crappy dating site. Then they'll spend hours and hours searching for my profile on the dating site to no avail. It's not easy being sexy, everyone's always looking to exploit me.

        In all seriousness, this probably explains why FB was willing to fork over so much cash for Instagram. While it's good that they actually had a plan in place to monetize their purchase, the plan itself is very objectionable. I'm sure their lawyers found some way to make it legal, but I find this practice unsettling. It seems unethical. Even if it's not, I'm sure many of their users wouldn't approve. The sad thing is most will never know.

        • 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......

          • 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 am wondering that, too.

            A professional photographer produces a product for which the licensing is clear. If I am a paid model, I signed the releases as a condition for employment, and I know what to expect.

            But what if a friend snaps a photo of me, FB grabs it, and another party creates an advertisement that implies I am endorsing a product/service? Removing the professional photographer from the picture does not change my reasonable expectations as a private citizen while, say, dining in a random restaur

  • 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 Assmasher (456699) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:04AM (#42324849) Journal

      Who needs the internet, I've got Facebook!

    • by alen (225700)

      you can always run your own web server from home with your pictures

      i'm sure thousands of people will be looking at them

      • by tompaulco (629533)
        you can always run your own web server from home with your pictures
        i'm sure thousands of people will be looking at them

        That seems like a rational idea to me. After all, why would you want thousands of people you don't even know to look at your pictures? That seems narcissistic to me. Surely, you just want your friends and family to look at them? Post them on your server, and send a link. Done.
    • Serious question, what about imagur (I think that's how it is spelled) ?
      • by vlm (69642)

        I've never seen it used for anything other than /r/gonewild ... does it have a life beyond homemade pr0n for reddit users? Or is there any popular, real, wide spread (ha ha) demand for photo sharing other than homemade pr0n? Remember 100K fanatic users is only like one sixty-thousandth the world population, by popular I mean FB or google sized popularity, or at least WoW sized.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @09:54AM (#42324753)

    Just when I thought I could never want to use Instagram less, this happens.

  • 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 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 Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:21AM (#42325057)

        They can already do 1) and 2) is not going to happen, its just too loaded with pitfalls. Dave was going for his mother's funeral, whoops, lawsuit. I don't think people appreciate the demand for even low quality stock photos out there.

        Instagram has apparently a billion odd photos uploaded. Lets say that optimistically 1% of those are saleable at all. That's 10 million photos, now lets say 10% of those earn a dollar a month in sales between them, that's a million bucks a month. Not too shabby, and quite possible, one photo in a thousand earning a dollar a month. That they'd have to do it for around a century just to break even is beside the point, I've no idea what the hell they were thinking spending that much money on a photo upload service in the first place.

        Still, its an all round scummy move by facebook and probably illegal too. Maybe if they offered an opt-in profit sharing system instead, or something, that might be good.

        • by mk1004 (2488060)

          They can already do 1) and 2) is not going to happen, its just too loaded with pitfalls. Dave was going for his mother's funeral, whoops, lawsuit.

          Except the TOS no doubt says you must submit to binding arbitration, so good luck with that.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Except loss making Internet scam Facebook, has the details of who your close friends, not so close friends, relatives and enemies are. Of those, you may only have Instagram'd your photo to your close friends, but the rest would pay to see it, particularly your unfrienermies.

      Facebook recently stopped letting Instagram photos be posted around freely, starting with Twitter. So it's only a matter of time before they sell access to your photos. The only people interested are friends, former friends and stalkers

      • 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 mrsquid0 (1335303) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @09:57AM (#42324769) Homepage

    I played around with instagram for a few days, but I never really saw the point of it. I can take and post pictures with the camera that came with my phone. If I want to play around with the picture I have other apps for that, and they do not send the picture back to a mother ship.

    • Ageeed, Instagram has succumbed to the social disease that is Facebook. Just never trust any app or cloud service with your personal files, be they your photos, docs, mp3s, text/rmails etc. If you forever lose them because you didn't back them up on multiple hard/flash drives you have noone to blame but yourself.

      BTW, does Instagram give user's a cut of their profits???

  • 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 alen (225700)

      most people don't care, like me

      once in a while i'll take a decent photo. if instagram uses it i'll be happy and will probably upload more

      • by Splab (574204) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:13AM (#42324957)

        Better make sure you have permission from subjects in the picture, else you could very well find yourself on the wrong side of a lawsuit, since it's your responsibility to make sure your models are paid for published work.

        • But shouldn't they sue the people who actually PUBLISHED the picture?

          • I"m guessing they consider the photographer to be the publisher since he published the photo on instagram under the terms that allowed the image to be sold for commercial use.
          • by a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:29AM (#42325145) Homepage Journal

            Putting pictures on the Internet are publishing them. By uploading the picture on instagram or facebook you are in essence publishing the pictures.

            So then it's your fault.

          • by TheSpoom (715771)

            But shouldn't they sue the people who actually PUBLISHED the picture?

            I am not a lawyer, but I guarantee they have this covered. The terms of service almost certainly say that you irrevocably represent that you have the full permission of any subjects of your photos, and agree to indemnify (i.e. pay for the entire legal defense of) the service provider in cases where it is revealed that any representations you made in agreeing to the EULA are false.

            So if they sue Facebook, Facebook points out the Terms of Service areas where you agreed to these things, then sues you to pay a

    • by isorox (205688) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:07AM (#42324881) Homepage Journal

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

      Yes they do, you agreed to it in the terms-of-service

      • by angel'o'sphere (80593) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:17AM (#42325011) Homepage Journal

        No, they won't own them.
        In the EU terms of services like this are void.
        And I would guess also in the US such terms would contradict copyright laws ...
        In the EU an author needs to be compensated for his work. General terms like that are void.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702)
          You are compensated for your work in that you are able to use Instagram and Facebook without making any monetary payment.

          I agree that this is utterly shitty, but it's more than likely totally legal in both the US and the UK. You use their hosting space for free, they use your pictures in their marketing. If you don't like it set up your own website, on your own dime, and post copyright notices for all of the images. You have the choice to not use Facebook, Instagram, Google, or any other service for which
        • You're both correct. (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:49AM (#42325359)

          They won't own them, as the Terms make explicitly clear. At the same time, you "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".

          So, yes, you still own your photos, and yes, they can do anything they want with them.

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

        Yes they do, you agreed to it in the terms-of-service

        So... if I take a picture of a copyrighted photo, then upload that picture to Instagram, Instagram subsequently owns the copyright?

        I find that dubious, at best.

    • by Dogtanian (588974)

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

      Their point would be that you *did* agree to give them permission when you agreed to their terms and conditions.

      Not entirely sure if I'm playing devil's advocate or not here, because while I have nothing but contempt for this move by Facebook (or any similar "land grab"), people *do* have the choice whether or not to use their shitty, worthless service and did agree to terms and conditions, supposedly.

      The question is to what extent people are made aware of these terms and to what extent they can truly be ex

    • by Chewbacon (797801)
      Geocities did something like this a long time ago. There was a mass exodus which, before it really went anywhere, caused them to backpedal. Lets all start taking pictures of our dicks and seeing what we can get for them.
    • These are your pictures. You own them. No corporation has the right to use them without your permission just because they are holding them.

      Of course they don't. They have the right to use them with your permission, which you grant when you accept the ToS. I think it's stupid, too, but that's how it works.

      People have gotten used to the notion that people will throw a useful service out there and let you use it for free forever. Frankly, that's stupid and we should all know better. They're either going to

    • by dfm3 (830843)

      but knowing these shysters, they would just remove those things and still claim it's theirs.

      There's a difference between being given ownership of a copyrighted work, and being granted a license to it. If you read the new terms closely, you'll see that you (the user) still own the copyright to the photos, but are giving Instagram/Facebook the rights to distribute your works and to make a profit from them without giving you a cut. They aren't claiming that the images are their property, just that you have given them a royalty-free license to use them however they want to. Essentially you are grantin

  • Get over it already (Score:5, Informative)

    by rudy_wayne (414635) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:01AM (#42324821)

    Yes, this is a shitty thing to do. So don't use Instagram or Facebook or any of the other "services" that are constantly trying to screw you for their profit. We got along just fine for a very long time without Facebook or Instagram. Time to grow up and move on.

  • Bait... (Score:3, Funny)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:02AM (#42324827) Homepage

    ....aaaaaaaaaaaaand switch.

  • For all that parents get up in arms about digital services abusing the privacy rights of their children (resulting in support of laws such as the US's COPPA), they continue to volunteer for services which violate their own privacy rights.

    Adults have more to lose in this battle than children.

  • by yakovlev (210738) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:03AM (#42324837) Homepage
    I saw this yesterday, and was shocked. This is effectively stealing all users' photos that have been uploaded thus far, and a pretty sleazy thing to do even for new users. If I was an instagram user, my first action after seeing this would be to delete my account. There is almost nothing instagram could offer me that would be worth giving them this kind of free control over all of my photos.

    The privacy implications for photos containing people is even more staggering. I doubt most people on instagram have current model releases for their photographs, so using these commercially could get any number of people sued, but based on the instagram policy, it very well could be the user who took them initially, then "gave instagram permission to use them commercially."

    I would expect this policy to change, but if it doesn't by January 5 or so, I would suggest all instagram users delete their accounts. Also, if it doesn't change by then, watch out for Facebook's terms to change to something similar.
    • by garcia (6573)

      Shocked? Really? Facebook owns them and does similar stuff with your photos there. Why would this shock you? On top of that, 99.999% of IG's users will never have their shitty photo used in this manner.

      But, if you're really all that concerned (and you're not because you probably haven't quit FB for the same things) you'd use http://instaport.me/ [instaport.me] to download all of your photos and move to Flickr with their new Marissa Mayer Themed App which does the same things IG did for $24.95/year.

      Please note: I am an avi

    • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vlm (69642)

      I doubt most people on instagram have current model releases for their photographs, so using these commercially could get any number of people sued, but based on the instagram policy, it very well could be the user who took them initially, then "gave instagram permission to use them commercially."

      from the new policy:

      you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your ... photos

      I grew up in a semi-pro photography household and learning by osmosis I can tell you this is a horrifying legal minefield for anyone who doesn't have well documented model releases.

      Its exactly like a photo processor reserving the right to sell your photos to anyone they want if you develop film there, or a word processor author demanding the right to sell anything you type into the word processor to anyone they want. Crazy talk.

      I recognize you're using language so as not to be convicted

    • by ScentCone (795499) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:44AM (#42325309)
      Just because you've granted a license (through TOS, etc) to a third party, so they can use material for which you still retain the copyrights ... does NOT mean that the subjects in the photos have waived their privacy rights. Third parties looking to use the images commercially (NOT the photographer!) are the ones responsible for having that signed model release in hand, and are the targets for a suit in case of mis-using someone's likeness. Doesn't mean the pissed off subject won't also sue the photographer (because you can sue the proverbial ham sandwich, if you want), but the law is very clear in this area. The party that puts the image to commercial use is the one that needs the release in hand. It's not the photographer's responsibility to obtain it, keep it, or provide it to anyone (unless they've signed a contract with a third party that calls for them to do so ... but that's very specific, professional circumstances).
    • 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.
  • EFF's Opsahl says the new policy runs afoul of his group's voluntary best practices for social networks. He added: "Hopefully at some point we'll get greater clarity from Facebook and Instagram."

    Could they be any more clear? "We own everything, bwaa-haa-haa"?
    I'm sure this is just a polite way of saying, "What the f*ck do you think you are doing? Stop this sh*t now!".

  • "The new policy will come into effect on 16 January, just four months after Facebook completed its $1bn acquisition of Instagram"
    I'm sure the timing is a coincidence though.
  • I dont know what is the great thing about instagram. It's just an app to apply some filters used mostly to apply a vintage effect in a photo of a meal. I know people here on /. don't need someone -me- to help you how to find an app to replace instagram, but please let your friends know about EyeEm [eyeem.com] or Snapseed [snapseed.com]. Anyway, results are almost the same.
  • Model rights (Score:5, Informative)

    by magic maverick (2615475) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:13AM (#42324967) Homepage Journal

    This is despicable of course. And Instagram/Facebook needs to clearly and loudly (e.g. a click through notice when you login, and every day later until the 16th) explains this change in the ToS, and explains what it means (in plain English, not lawyer speak). But I bet they don't.

    Anyway, any pictures with identifiable images of people in them could be a problem for whichever company purchases the image. Because of model rights you know? If an ad is run which has a person who is clearly identifiable, then in most places a model release is required. And I bet you that Instragram doesn't require that photographers have people sign model releases...

    Oh, and the blog post [instagram.com]:

    Our community has grown a lot since we wrote our original terms of service. To get things up to date for the millions of people now using Instagram, we’re bringing you new versions of our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

    Here are a few key updates:

    • Nothing has changed about your photos’ ownership or who can see them.
             
    • Our updated privacy policy helps Instagram function more easily as part of Facebook by being able to share info between the two groups. This means we can do things like fight spam more effectively, detect system and reliability problems more quickly, and build better features for everyone by understanding how Instagram is used.
           
    • Our updated terms of service help protect you, and prevent spam and abuse as we grow.

    This is just a small preview. Our new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service will be effective on January 16, 2013.

    We know these documents are a little dry, but they’re very important. Please take a moment to read through them so you keep feeling comfortable sharing your beautiful photos on Instagram.

    A bit of a lie really. The key point from the various articles is:

    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: http://instagram.com/legal/privacy/ [instagram.com].
    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.

    http://instagram.com/about/legal/terms/updated/ [instagram.com]

    You can express your disapproval of these changes by emailing support@instagram.com [mailto].

    • Re:Model rights (Score:5, Informative)

      by Immerial (1093103) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @11:08AM (#42325537) Homepage

      Anyway, any pictures with identifiable images of people in them could be a problem for whichever company purchases the image. Because of model rights you know? If an ad is run which has a person who is clearly identifiable, then in most places a model release is required. And I bet you that Instragram doesn't require that photographers have people sign model releases...

      Actually their terms covers them...

      Under Basic Terms (7, 8)...

      1. You may not use the Service for any illegal or unauthorized purpose. You agree to comply with all laws, rules and regulations (for example, federal, state, local and provincial) applicable to your use of the Service and your Content (defined below), including but not limited to, copyright laws.
      2. You are solely responsible for your conduct and any data, text, files, information, usernames, images, graphics, photos, profiles, audio and video clips, sounds, musical works, works of authorship, applications, links and other content or materials (collectively, "Content") that you submit, post or display on or via the Service.

      and under Rights (4, 8)...

      1. You represent and warrant that: (i) you own the Content posted by you on or through the Service or otherwise have the right to grant the rights and licenses set forth in these Terms of Use; (ii) the posting and use of your Content on or through the Service does not violate, misappropriate or infringe on the rights of any third party, including, without limitation, privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, trademark and/or other intellectual property rights; (iii) you agree to pay for all royalties, fees, and any other monies owed by reason of Content you post on or through the Service; and (iv) you have the legal right and capacity to enter into these Terms of Use in your jurisdiction.
      1. You agree that Instagram is not responsible for, and does not endorse, Content posted within the Service. Instagram does not have any obligation to prescreen, monitor, edit, or remove any Content. If your Content violates these Terms of Use, you may bear legal responsibility for that Content.

      Basically they are saying that all the pictures you've posted are supposed to be free of any issues. If they are not, they are not responsible... you are.

      Basically, if they get sued, you get left holding the bag.

      So not only they can make money off of you, they give you all the risk.

  • approach to eliminating personal privacy. It creates another big bru-ha-ha in the media (useful for brand awareness) which then dies down after a few weeks, and then it's business as usual. How far has facebook twisted its own 'privacy' policy by now compared to how it started? It's just amazing how easy they are getting away with slowly boiling the lobster.
  • by Progman3K (515744) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:19AM (#42325031)

    But I posted that disclaimer on Facebook expressly forbidding them to do that

  • 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.

  • by cornicefire (610241) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:23AM (#42325069)
    He shouldn't be writing about this without disclosing his conflict of interest. Heck, she shouldn't be writing about this. Google does its own evil things with users' content.
  • These so called "social" websites are a fraud. Nobody reads these terms of service and they know it. They don't have any legitimate way of making money so they steal what you upload and sell it. Nice business model. Just because they give me a few megs of space on their server should not mean that they retain full ownership rights to my pictures. If that's their terms of service fine, but I'm not playing that game.

  • I never understood why Instagram is supposedly worth so much

    Could someone explain this to me?

    I can see why FB are trying to claw that back by douchebag moves like this.

  • by tekrat (242117) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @10:45AM (#42325323) Homepage Journal

    If you read a little further down in the EULA, it also says they have the right to perform medical experiments on you, including making you part of a human centipede...

  • by CMYKjunkie (1594319) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @11:38AM (#42325863)
    "I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further!" -- Darth Zuckerberg
  • by CimmerianX (2478270) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @12:50PM (#42326671)
    How's that Facebook Cloud working for ya now??? I've never had one, never will. Because of shit like this. People always ask me "why aren't you on facebook?" Maybe this will convince them I was right.
  • by GrantRobertson (973370) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @03:45PM (#42329089) Homepage Journal

    Folks can forget about deleting all their pictures from the site. I guarantee they were archived before the announcement was made. They probably have the ever-popular "Only individual binding arbitration" agreement as well.

    The internet stopped being the "Wild West" and became feudal Europe a long time ago.

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. -- James Michener, "Space"

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