Instagram Owns Your Pictures and Can Sell Them

Is Instagram preparing for the biggest Internet heist of the century with their new intellectual property policy?

Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg, has received plenty of backlash over the controversial policies he uses to govern his site.   When he purchased Instagram, many abandoned the service because of those policies…and it appears they were right to do so.

According to CNET, the company announced that they will be changing policy again and this new intellectual property policy will grant Zuckerburg’s empire ownership over all of the pictures you’ve snapped and placed on Instagram. The policy will become effective on January 16.

Unfortunately, there is no way to opt out of this action, unless you delete your account.  But don’t wait until after the deadline because they have another way to obtain your pictures. According to Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

“If Instagram users continue to upload photos after January 16, 2013, and subsequently delete their account after the deadline, they may have granted Facebook an irrevocable right to sell those images in perpetuity. There’s no obvious language that says deleting an account terminates Facebook’s rights.”

And that’s not all! The report delivers even more bad news.  The site not only holds the license of your pictures, but they can, by a loophole they give themselves by changing from “limited license” to “transferable and sub-licensable”, sell your stuff:

“A second section allows Facebook to charge money. It says that “a business or other entity may pay us to display your… photos… in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.” That language does not exist in the current terms of use.”

So don’t be surprised if your Disney World pictures end up in their ad campaign without your consent.  Read more here.

-J.C. Brooks

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