Home Business NewsTech News False alarm? Instagram denies plans to sell users' photos

False alarm? Instagram denies plans to sell users' photos

by LLB Editor
19th Dec 12 11:01 am

Hip photo website Instagram has announced plans to modify its terms of service following a backlash over rumours that the company would claim the right to sell users’ photos.

The Facebook-owned company released a blog post titled titled “Thank you, and we’re listening”, last night reassuring users it has no plans to sell pictures to advertisers.

Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said: “I’m writing this today to let you know we’re listening and to commit to you that we will be doing more to answer your questions, fix any mistakes, and eliminate the confusion.

“As we review your feedback and stories in the press, we’re going to modify specific parts of the terms to make it more clear what will happen with your photos.

“Legal documents are easy to misinterpret. So I’d like to address specific concerns we’ve heard from everyone.”

Systrom wrote that the proposed changes were wrongly interpreted and the new terms of service would allow Instagram to try “innovative advertising”.

“…It is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.”

Speaking about ownership rights, Systrom said that, “Instagram users own their content” and the company does not claim any ownership rights over users’ photos.

“We respect that there are creative artists and hobbyists alike that pour their heart into creating beautiful photos, and we respect that your photos are your photos. Period.

“I always want you to feel comfortable sharing your photos on Instagram and we will always work hard to foster and respect our community and go out of our way to support its rights,” he added.

It’s interesting to note that Facebook’s terms and conditions allow the company to claim ownership rights for photos and videos that are “Public”.

The company states: “You grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License).”

If Instagram decides to use Facebook’s terms and conditions as a template, it means that it can claim ownership rights for photos that are public.

And if you’re an Instagram user, you know most photos are public. So does that mean Instagram can sell your photos?


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