Looks like Instagram intends to update its TOS (terms of service) after the new year. Among the changes is the second entry under the “Rights” section, which in its current form states:
“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. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf.”
The shorthand is this… They can sell your images for advertising. Sell it to whomever they want, for whatever price, without your consent and no compensation to you. Nice, eh?
Now, the backlash has been pretty swift and it’s been harsh. Everybody from the everyday take-a-photo-of-my-dinner user to some of the biggest names in the photography business have come down hard on Facebook (who recently bought Instagram). The overwhelming majority think it is an idiotic move on Instagram/Facebook’s part. Time magazine weighed in, as well.
Because of all this, I hold out hope they will rethink their position. I like playing around with Instagram. I enjoy the community I’ve fallen into there. But come January 16, 2013, if they allow the new TOS to go into effect with no changes, I will remove all my photos and delete my account.
Update from Instagram.
A friend in the legal business is still not thoroughly convinced. I will be watching and will reserve judgment a bit longer.