Instagram Can Now Sell Your Images Without Your Knowledge

Instagram Can Now Sell Your Images Without Your Knowledge

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.

"Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, except that you can control who can view certain of your Content and activities on the Service as described in the Service's Privacy Policy, available here:"


watermark woes

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."


keep calm till jan 16th

 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.


facebook hoax

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.

instagram nom nom nom

How do you feel about your Instagram images being sold without being asked or more importantly... compensated?


Rebecca Britt's picture

Rebecca Britt is a South Texas based commercial, architectural and concert photographer. When she's not working Rebecca enjoys spending time with her two daughters, playing Diablo III, and shooting concerts (Electronic Dance Music). Rebecca also runs the largest collective of EDM (electronic dance music) photographers on social media.

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This is a vast over-reach by Instagram and Facebook. 

Account closed, app deleted.

But what if someone posts someone else's images? They can't take my copyright if someone 'borrows' my image and posts it on Instagram. So how can they recognise if the poster is the copyright holder? I imagine the terms will ensure the poster is the one liable for any legal issues and not Facebook!
I think Facebook recognise that they are not a long term venture and it is only a matter of time before the next big thing takes over. So they aim to make profits while they can and keep the share holders happy.

I see this as a possible good thing. For me anyway. I preach the use of custom images to my clients who can easily buy stock. With the world about to be flooded with stock images my point is even now more valid as you have all the legal ducks in a row using me.  

I ment flooded with stock/instagram images...

Rebecca and everyone at Fstoppers,
It appears we may be over-reacting.  A friend just forwarded me this article that explains the new language -- I'm only reading it now but I thought I'd forwarded for all to digest.

Instagram has released their own statement (even the verge had some stuff wrong), I will be updating the article soon. 

This is too bad! I just had to delete my account as well because of their new policy. I really don't feel comfortable at the idea that Instagram could potentially sell pix of my kids and more generally of my life, so even though I'm very annoyed myself at having to do so, they didn't leave me any other option. This is such a shame... I really wish that most everyone would start deleting their accounts. Hopefully they would realize that they made a mistake and change their policy back to how it was before...

Just don't use their POS site.

so what about the requirement of model and property releases on images that are sold by instagram?

Who wants to buy this crap. Images of breakfast and coffee mugs damaged by Instagram filters lol...

i hate the fact they can use pictures of my friends and family and even me (not that they would. there are better looking people all over the world) for their own needs without even asking me. I mean.... how hard is it to ask!?

I thought instagram sucked because of the shit pictures people were posting to it.
Now i say it sucks even more because of the "you hereby grant to Instagram a
non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable,
sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or
through the Service, "

To a Flikr I will go to a Flickr I will go hi ho the dairy'oh to a Flickr I will gooooooo.