Wednesday, December 19

If Instagram Can Sell Your Photos Without Your Permission, What Is Next?

If Instagram Can Sell Your Photos Without Your Permission What Is Next?

I'm sure you've all heard that Instagram was going to change their Terms of Service. After January 16, 2013 Instagram wanted to sell its users' photos without their permission and without compensation. (See: Instagram says it now has the right to sell your photos)

Instagram has since backed down and has pledged to remove "language from its legal terms that would have let it sell users' photos or use them in advertisements" (Instagram apologizes to users: We won't sell your photos).

Instragram Backed Down But Who Will Be Next?

Nevertheless, it boggles my mind that a company felt it had the right to suddenly change its Terms of Service to give them the rights to sell their users' creations without their permission and without any form of remuneration. That is brazen.

As Nathan Bransford writes:
WordPress shouldn't be able to publish books pulled from people's blogs. The makers of canvas and paint don't own a painting. Providing the platform shouldn't mean the company then owns and profits from the creation.... [I]f there's money to be made directly off someone's content, it should accrue to the creator. (Instagram reminds us that we are the product for sale)
Think if suddenly Wattpad announced they were changing their Terms of Service and now had the right to publish any story hosted on their servers without the author's consent and without compensating the author?

Wattpad isn't doing that, and as far as I know isn't going to do it, but the idea that it is possible for a company to make such a brash move is disconcerting to say the least.

Do you use Instagram? Perhaps I'm overreacting. What is your take on this issue?

Other articles you might like:

- The Cure For Perfectionism
- The Value of Google+ As A Writer's Platform
- The Benefits of Handwriting

Photo credit: "Water and Fire..... and a cold morning" by Sukanto Debnath under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.


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