Instragram just updated their new terms of service today, and the fine print, while not shocking, certainly is concerning especially if you use the service to show off your work. Instagram has stated that starting on Jan. 16 the service will be able to use and sell your images for advertising without your knowledge and without offering compensation leaving users with the short end of the stick.
When you first read the new terms of service nothing seems to be out of the ordinary until you reach the 'rights' portion of the TOS. It explains what users of the service have authority over and in return what Instagram can do with publicly posted data specifically concerning advertising. While it says that you retain copyright of any material that's posted (as long as you rightfully own it), you will be giving Instagram a royalty-free and no limits license to use anything you post as long as it's posted publicly.
It later states that anything you post, including your display name, photos (including metadata), likeness, and/or actions can be sold by Instagram to other parties or companies to be used for advertising without any compensation to you or without your knowledge of the exchange/sale.
"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.
You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such."
Now, before you start a filter pack panic realize that Instagram is a wide and vast place on the internet and over 4 billion photos and other data have been posted to the site. The chances of your data being used is slim, but the possibility is out there, and therein lies the problem. So, unless your posts are kept completely private you're open to having your photos ripped off and sold to any company that Instagram sees fit, without a paycheck or even a polite, 'Hey, we're selling your stuff, thanks buddy, Instagram out, peace.'
With Facebook now owning Instagram and having over 300 million photos posted each day it leads to believe that this may be a direction that the internet ruler (or dark lord) is heading towards in the near future. Perhaps it's time to dust off that good ole' Facebook copyright notice hoax and tuck it safely away for safe keeping. Not that it would do any good when it announces it now owns your soul.
I use Instagram to post my kids' silliness, co-workers being epic or meh... or sometimes epically meh. I also use it every time I'm shooting a DJ just for kicks. Looks like those days are behind me.
How do you feel about your Instagram images being sold without being asked or more importantly... compensated?