03 stycznia, 2013

Instagram's New Terms. Simply?

"Facebook bought Instagram in April for $1B, and we are seeing bits of the aftermath this week in the form of Instagram's disintegration from Twitter and the photo-taking and sharing site's new "Terms of Use." The updated version of the terms agreement, which will take effect January 16, is not that different from agreements on other sites. However, because the Internet is the source of constant chaos, the debut of Instagram's terms is causing quite a bit of buzz, and to some extent, it is warranted.  

Source: Google

Source: Google

People have the right to be upset as this is yet another example of a non-user friendly agreement. The terms are designed to be difficult for the average user to interpret and to be subsequently ignored. The new terms should not be a source of chaos, but at the same time, those who are making light of them are likely the same people who have little understanding of the law and the same people who post those hoax messages on their Facebook pages. So, read a few of my straight-forward clarifications and some of the controversial excerpts below 

1. Who owns your photos? Copyright law grants rights to those who take original photographs. Thus, YOU own the rights to the photos you take, and Instagram does not contest this. However, by continuing to use Instagram after January 16, you are granting the company a "non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license" which means that you are allowing Instagram to use, modify (delete from/add to), and publicly display your photos on an international scale. Period. 

2. What about if your photos are "Private?" It doesn't appear to matter that much. The statement claims that "Content not shared publicly ("private") will not be distributed outside the Instagram Services." Since, some "Instagram Services" explicitly include advertising, your private photos may be fair game, as well. So, whether your photos are public or private, by continuing to use Instagram, you are agreeing to allow the company to use your photos for advertising purposes, over which you are not entitled to notice or compensation of any kind.

3. What if you delete your Instagram after January 16?  Based on the language of the statement, users that continue to upload photos after January 16, 2013 and subsequently delete their accounts, appear to grant Instagram an irrevocable right to sell those images. So, keep that in mind.

4. What is Instagram going to use your photos for? Good question! It's not exactly clear, but it will certainly be commercial in nature. Instagram is asking you to consent to unspecified future commercial use of your photos as "the manner, mode and extent of such advertising and promotions are subject to change without specific notice to you."

5. What are your options: There is no way to opt out of the Instagram requirements. I repeat. There is no way to opt out of the Instagram requirements. So, you can choose to continue using Instagram or delete your account. No word on whether the Terms of Use are retroactive but it wouldn't be thaaaat surprising if they are, and thus, apply to photos taken before January 16th, but this will only apply, if at all, to users who continue to use Instagram after January 16. 

  • "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."
  • "You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such." "

Source: http://www.fashion-law.org/

Author: Julie Zerbo

She is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Fashion Law. She has been profiled by the Wall Street Journal, and her work has been featured on New York Magazine's The Cut blog, the Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Vogue UK, among other publications. She also contributes to Motilo Magazine and Saks Fifth Avenue's blog.