PSA: Instagram Can Sell Your Photos Next Month

A heads up to anyone that uses the Instagram social photo sharing app for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch; in fact, this message applies to anyone that uses Instagram in any manner. Instagram announced yesterday that it will be making changes to both its privacy policy and terms of service to reflect the royalty-free, worldwide license that the Facebook subsidiary will have over your photos effective January 13th, 2013.

What this means is that Instagram will now have the ability to use your photos commercially, without compensating you whatsoever. Instagram is free to use your filtered photos in advertisements or sell your photos for payment without any notification. Worst of all, there is no way to opt out of these changes. The only thing you can do is set your photos to private, meaning that Instagram could only use them in internal advertisements at worst. 

The portion of the new terms that is causing frustration among users, especially since Instagram failed to mention these changes specifically:

“Instagram does NOT claim ANY ownership rights in the text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, musical works, works of authorship, applications, or any other materials (collectively, “Content”) that you post on or through the Instagram Services. By displaying or publishing (“posting”) any Content on or through the Instagram Services, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels, except Content not shared publicly (“private”) will not be distributed outside the Instagram Services.”

The ensuing debate following this news is centered upon whether Instagram should have the rights to sell your photos. Instagram has grown insanely popular over the past few years, reaching 100 million registered users last September. But with these recent changes, which have been highly criticized, a number of faithful Instagram users might be calling it quits.

[Instagram via CNET]

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