Just a little over 45 minutes ago Instagram released a statement on their blog regarding their future Terms of Service (TOS). This is in response to the outcry from users who saw one of their favorite mobile Apps nearly commit virtual harakiri today.
Read my article below for events leading up to this announcement by Instagram.
Instagram claims it can sell your photos and you should not have any expectation to receive payment, be notified, or be credited
On January 16, 2013 Instagram will roll out its new terms and conditions. Here are some bullet-points that you need to be aware of:
- ...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...
- 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.
- ...any Content will be non-confidential and non-proprietary and we will not be liable for any use or disclosure of Content.
- You (and also any third party for whom you operate an account or activity on the Service) agree to defend (at Instagram's request), indemnify and hold the Instagram Parties harmless from and against any claims, liabilities, damages, losses, and expenses, including without limitation, reasonable attorney's fees and costs, arising out of or in any way connected with any of the following (including as a result of your direct activities on the Service or those conducted on your behalf)
* If you cancel your account before January 16, 2013 Instagram rules don't effect you.
The bottom line is that Instagram can now operate as a clearing-house for photos similar to iStockPhoto. It has the potential to become the largest stock-photo agency in the world without having to crack open its wallet.
I've seen this before with other services. They release a bloated Terms and Conditions drafted by an overpaid attorney only to retract their Terms less than a week later due to the public outcry. Will that happen? Who knows. Facebook could also be up to its old tricks - Light a fire, let people scream, garner media attention for free, then, fix things. No harm, no foul.
To think, this morning I was going to post a photograph on Instagram and say hello to followers, and now I don't even feel like going on. I'll let the things settle for a day or two before I make the decision to pull the plug on what used to be a great App and social network.
I can't say I didn't see the dark-side coming around the bend as soon as Facebook purchased Instagram. I, like most others, just hoped that Facebook would not break something beautiful.
- John Toma
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