If anyone uses Instagram which is now owned by Facebook to upload photos, they have changed their Terms of Service. Starting January 16, 2013, Instagram may sell your photos without knowledge, without acknowledging you as the author, and without giving you any royalties realized from the sale of your photos.
In the article written by an employee of ZDNet titled "So Instagram can now sell your photos: Get over it", they seem to think there is no big deal about it. I guess in a way they are right in the sense that most photos people upload would not be worth using. But what about those that are? It seems that Intellectual Property is no longer going to be recognized by Instagram. Instagram is giving notice of the change in policy and allowing you to download and close out your account prior to January 16, 2013. Here is the paragraph of Instagram's updated TOS from ZDNet's article...
‘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’.
This is the kind of thing I think we should fight against. As with most other new types of services, if we just casually accept the changes, they become a norm as other businesses hop on the bandwagon and before we know it, we have lost something. For instance, games we used to be able to buy, download and save the complete install file that could be installed again and played without being online. This is no longer possible. You pay for a game, but you are only leasing it and you must be online to play it. If you lose you username and password to the site sponsoring the games, you have lost your game. Movies that you buy online from, at least, one internet company I know of - you download the movie since you bought it, can save the movie on your hard drive or other storage, but if the computer crashes that you bought the movie with, you no longer have access to those movies unless you sign back onto the site you bought it from and get them reauthorized. I realize some of this has to do with property rights, but I think it is going too far.
The article goes on to say that Facebook has a similar TOS, but in reading their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, it states their usage is subject to our privacy and application settings. So I think there is a slight difference between Instagram's TOS and Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: 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). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
The bottom line in all of this as I see it is we are slowly losing our protections online. From what it appears, if you decide to keep an Instagram account, they do not give you an option to keep you photos private if you wanted to. You either let them do whatever they want with your stuff or close out your account. I hope this is not the future of the internet.
Here's an update to this. Apparently Instagram is agreeing to change the wording of their TOS...Instagram to Users: We Won't Sell Your Pics, but...