Instagram just published their new terms and conditions stating that they would become effective on 01/16/13. The announcement was made today in a small rectangle that was featured at the top of the news section.
On closer inspection I discovered two paragraphs that, as an
author and friend of many different authors that make a living out of
selling their images, didn't seem right.
Here they are:
1. 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
2. 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. [...]You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such.
The second paragraph states that any of the images you might post on
instagram could be used for advertising and that they can also use your
name and personal information for this purpose. When you see other
people's content displayed as advertising, you may, or may not know if
it is a paid advertising.
The first paragraph states what I find most shocking: that
you grant them the right license your images. This means that instagram
could take a picture you have shot and posted on their app, sell it to
another company and that company could use it for whatever they
wanted: advertising, print, TV, etc. It also means that instagram
doesn't have to ask you for permission to do so and, what is worse, that
they will charge the company for buying your image but you, the
photographer, won't get paid for its use.
It is because of this that I ask instagram to respect their users and revise
their terms and conditions in order to let each of them decide if their
work can be licensed and used under these conditions or not.
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