New 'Photos At My Door' App Sells Your Facebook Photos Without Your Knowledge

New 'Photos At My Door' App Sells Your Facebook Photos Without Your Knowledge

There's a new Facebook app on the market called 'Photos At My Door'. This new app enables your Facebook friends to browse through your galleries and buy different photo products (prints, mugs, keychains, phone covers) using your own images. The question is, do I want my friends to have the ability to sift through my public and 'friends only' albums and make mugs and keychains out of my images or worse yet, buy prints? The answer, on a professional photographer standpoint... absolutely not!

This is starting to sound a lot like the mess that Instagram was in a few months back, but blatantly more insulting to the hard working professional photographers that reside on Facebook. The argument could be made that only public albums and 'friends only' albums are used in the service, but a photographer's copyright is still that... their copyright. When I looked up their terms of service the same technical jargon was on there as Instagram's.


photos at my door tos

We all signed a TOS agreement with Facebook when first joining, and Facebook has come out several times declaring that we the individuals own the photos that we upload onto the service. Although, with over 250 million photos being uploaded a day that's not exactly chump change to this new app. You don't need to be signed up for the app for your friends to be able to buy your photos, meaning that anyone that is a Facebook friend can pretty much order things at their leisure using your images. I don't see anywhere on the app where it states that you will be notified if someone purchases one of your images.

photos at my door app

I find this new app truly disheartening and disrespectful of a photographer's copyright. I should alone allow users to buy my images how I see fit, not some third party app. Even with their 'copyright notice' on their TOS, this hardly seems legal.

photos at my door copyright tos

Most of our readers here at Fstoppers are either advanced amateurs or part/full time photographers and I am sure the majority are Facebook users, as well. We all use Facebook as a way to market ourselves and our services. How do you feel this may impact your business and images?


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Let me grab the popcorn for this one...

Rebecca Britt's picture

no kidding.

There's a place in Faceboook's security settings to block any unwanted apps from accessing your account. I just added this app along with Target and Walmart who also were printing others photos in the past.

Rebecca Britt's picture

I believe you can shut out certain parts of your Facebook from being accessed, like your photo albums.

I was still able to access photo libraries after deselecting My photos, so I had to block the App (here's a short, crappy video on how to do that):

Spy Black's picture

You know, it's really annoying that you just can't block ALL apps, you have to write in one-fucking-app-at-a-time. Fucking facebook.

Just going through this on FB with some other Photogs. You can lock down your photos from being accessed by Apps by going to Privacy-Apps--Apps Other Use and making sure your photos are not selected as accessible.

Tom Gallagher's picture

Thanks for the info!

Rebecca Britt's picture

Really shouldn't matter. I should be able to allow other apps to access my photos without worrying about whether someone is selling prints of them, but regardless thank you for the tip.

Oh, I 100% agree. This being the final straw, I am pulling all of my "pro" shots off FB and will only link photos I host rather than allow FB access to any of my work.

Could you possibly be a little more vague? could you share the name of the app please

Vague as in mentioned in the first sentence of the article? And I quote "There’s a new Facebook app on the market called ‘Photos At My Door‘."

Antonio Carrasco's picture

This doesn't surprise me. People need to understand that Facebook is a data mining company above all else. They make money buy selling the information that you happily provide. Selling your photos without your consent is just a natural progression of their business model... And yeah, I understand this is a 3rd party app, but it's Facebook's technology that enables it.

Who would want a print of a crappy facebook photo in the first place? If it were a Google+ app I'd be a little more worried, but all you're going to get is some compressed desaturated crappy pic. =)

It's not that, it's that this app makes money for this company from other people's intellectual property without crediting and certainly without compensating the owners of said property.


Huge,annoying watermarks. I hate to say it, but when it comes to social media that is what I do. All of my images have my copyright info in the metadata, are 72 dpi, and have a watermark on them. I hate doing this to my work, but I feel like I have to protect myself.

John MacLean's picture

72dpi, or ppi technically is irrelevant. It's the pixel dimensions that literally count. And guess what, facebook strips your meta!

I know, but that is why I watermark images that go on FB. Small watermarks and watermarks on the edges are easy to get rid of, I put large watermarks in the center.

Does this also apply to facebook pages?

John MacLean's picture

Sure, probably more so, because everyone can see your page - it's public!

Well, in general you're right of course. And what's worse, there doesn't seem to be a way to protect page data from app access. OTOH I just checked out this app with a 'testing' facebook account and couldn't figure out a way to access a page's photos, so it might at least be unable to do that.

It is probably just a matter of time until this or another app comes along and offers access to page data, so I will probably restrict posting to low resolution images only, and I'll definitely rethink the size and placement of watermarks.

I've completely disabled Facebook's application platform (Account Settings -> Apps -> Apps you use -> Turn Off Platform) as I firmly believe that most developers are completely ignorant of things like privacy and copyrights. It kills Twitter integration so my tweets are not showing up on my FB timeline but this is fine as long as I try to use both networks for different purposes.

On the one hand: Whatcha complaining 'bout? It said so in the general terms of use by facebook: "We reserve the right to rip of your pictures and sell them elsewhere. Whenever we feel like it and no money to you". Translated to lawyerese, of course.

On the other hand: copyright infringement is copyright infringement, no matter what facebook says on their TOS- page. Just stating so doesn't make it legal...

My point: it takes two to play that game. Knowing this, why would anyone use fb to upload hi-res pix without a watermark?
My suggestion: upload only images with max 320x200 resolution, and tag them with a link to your "real" blog. Kind of like a teaser...

This way, you've greatly reduced the number of third party uses for those images (although stamps might still work...) and you maintain full legal control over your hi-res images.

Thanks for the info, I just disabled all permissions. And printing Facebook photos, is just stupid. I strongly suggest branding your photos more visible. Maybe a black or white ribbon with your name and website on it; something that will not cover the entire image but make cropping impossible.

RMc's picture

Wont affect me at all, since I seem to be one of the minority of people that actually read the FB t&c a while back and decided that my images worth something, are not going there.

"We all use Facebook as a way to market ourselves and our services."

Amazing as it may seem, not true here. Facebook is for fun, not work.

I agree with the disable photos thingy and DEFINITELY the standpoint that this should not be possible.

Firstly: I believe (and this I know for a fact for Swiss law) from a copyright law perspective each copy made is a separate infringement. In addition to that my media law professor said for each copy made, the holder must be not only informed, but named together with the copy (this would in theory be a nearly inalienable right in Switzerland). What goes even further is the idea that no matter professional or not, every photo taken by any person carries a copyright.

Secondly: Let's get on the topic of model releases - how about that for a problem.

PS: Block the app.

Price of freedom always has its price and it always is the same- eternal vigilance. These days all my pics are signed so if one is pinched at least its a bit of advertising.

The question is- as a random photographer on flickr or across the web, do you want to find your images on some blog without your permission making all of their ad revenue off of it?

Who gets the money from selling my photo?