Dec 18 2012
05:39 pm

Facebook just announced that photographers using their Instagram service are now basically all uncompensated stock photographers.

So if you're ever fortunate enough to have an Instagram photo that you took to be selected as the cover of Time magazine, you will never be compensated for your work, nor ever alerted that your work was used for ... well, for whatever purpose deemed suitable by Facebook, irrevocably and in perpetuity. You cede your copyright by using this service.

Oh, and there's no opt-out. Your only choice is to choose to comply or to delete your account by January 16, 2013.

(Not that I used the service that much, but I deleted my Instagram account 10 minutes ago.)

EDIT: Facebook claims it was all a misunderstanding and sought to "clarify" their policy.

cwg's picture

As Slate has pointed out, the

As Slate has pointed out, the TOS are almost the same for Twitter and YouTube - and, probably, any number of other companies. Free apps aren't actually free.


R. Neal's picture

Information wants to be free!

Information wants to be free! /snark

bizgrrl's picture

I think users need more time

I think users need more time to cancel their accounts.

CE Petro's picture

Unfortunate Wording.

Instagram CE is doubling down...unfortunate wording

It said instead that users had incorrectly interpreted its revised terms of serviced, which it blamed on its "confusing" choice of language.

Instagram's clarification follows much user opposition to the believed change.

"To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos," it said.

Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom said in a blog posting: "It is our mistake that this language is confusing.

"We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear."

Andy Axel's picture

Right. "Not our intention."

Right. "Not our intention." Still vague, if that's what they were trying to say.

CE Petro's picture

Personally, I think they were

Personally, I think they were trying to slide the stealing your copyright through on the sly. Thankfully there are vigilant people that actually read these changes, and were able to get the word out. If there wasn't' such an uproar they wouldn't have said a thing.

R. Neal's picture

Yes, when lawyers write

Yes, when lawyers write one-sided contracts for their clients they shoot for the moon and expect to negotiate. Not usually so publicly, though.

zoomfactor's picture

Everyone is forgetting one thing...

... that Instagram photos pretty much all suck. They aren't worth anything.

EricLykins's picture

Look at this garden gnome.

Andy Axel's picture


Not the point.

Even a crap photo is the intellectual property of whoever created it, you should have the right to have a say in how it is used.

redmondkr's picture

I have had a few requests to

I have had a few requests to publish Flickr photos that I considered crap, but they were at least published with proper attribution.

I've had three authors who have even sent me complimentary copies of their publications. I did have to send one publisher a gentle reminder.

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