A Food Delivery Company Is Encouraging a Hashtag Which Enables It to Claim Copyright of Any Photo

A Food Delivery Company Is Encouraging a Hashtag Which Enables It to Claim Copyright of Any Photo

Deliveroo, a UK-based food delivery company of a similar caliber to Postmates and UberEats, is targeting users to use the hashtag #yesDeliveroo as a means of gaining the rights to use peoples photos for their commercial gain. The contract that the copyright owner commits to by using the hashtag sees them surrender their image(s) to Deliveroo “for any purpose” and “royalty free,” and by doing so, they “have no right to withdraw at any time.”

This is not the first time we’ve encountered such a policy in recent weeks. It echoes the agreement that the Hilton-owned Conrad New York Midtown hotel was caught using as they tried to coax a photographer into signing his image rights away with a hashtag of their own. It signals a disturbing trend among large corporations who seemingly try to reduce marketing costs by simply thieving the photographs of others using the most accessible platform they know how – social media.

When the terms and conditions of this binding contract state that the laws extend to any content that is “photos, text, videos, graphics, audio, social media handles, social media user names, captions, comments or location,” one can’t help but be concerned at just how much of our work and livelihoods these corporations are looking to store and use.


You grant us (Roofoods Limited), our group companies, affiliates and related entities the following rights for any purpose (including for commercial, marketing/advertising and business purposes), in any media and on any medium whatsoever (including but not limited to any printed media, static advertising of any kind, radio, television, Internet, cellular phone, or of any other kind), including uses not yet identified:

  1. a royalty-free, fully paid, non-exclusive, transferable, perpetual, irrevocable, assignable, sub-licensable worldwide licence to use (including without limitation reproducing, broadcasting, combining, editing transmitting, displaying, developing, disseminating (each a Use)) your Contributions. Any work created, based on and/or derived from Using the Contributions is known as Derivative Works; and
  2. the right to Use your identifying information (including but not limited to your real name, image/likeness, and location (Identifying Information)) provided with your Contributions.”

Are you careful with which hashtags you use? And do platforms such as Instagram have a responsibility to police these kinds of instant policies?

Lead image: Pixabay via Pexels.

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Mark Harris's picture

Maybe I should start a pressed coffee company and then declare free use of any images marked #nofilter.

Alex Reiff's picture

I'm honestly curious as to how enforceable this is, seeing as use of the hashtag doesn't guarantee that the poster has even been presented with the terms and conditions.

Paul Parkinson's picture

I doubt this will hold up in a UK court - unfair contract terms springs to mind. The use of a hashtag wouldn't represent informed consent to a contract. Still, a shit move by Deliveroo. #yesDeliveroo


PS Let's clog up Deliveroo's Instagram account with shitposting images using the hashtag...

Indy Thomas's picture

Precisely my thoughts. A torrent of dick pics might be a start.

Rk K's picture

Hashtags are not legally enforceable. Still, deliveroo is a horrible, dystopian company.

Tony Clark's picture

I'm sure he spent more on Lawyers getting that strategy than it'd cost to do a proper photoshoot. I hope that someone challenges him and makes him spend even more money defending his chose.

Jerome Brill's picture

Here are the facts.

Search yesDeliveroo on Twitter and you'll see no one has actually used it to submit a photo. Some have taken photos and tagged Deliveroo like anyone else does with something they like on Twitter. Although Deliveroo replies asking if they can use the photo on their blog with their terms. If you agree you would reply back with the tag #yesDeliveroo. You do not have to agree and it's not automatic. The writer of this article it using the word "Target" and "Encouraging" instead of "Replying" to make it look worse than it is.

I'm sure so they don't stur anything up, like an employee using a photo for something else accidently they are asking for the full rights. I don't think there is some master dubious plan to steal photos. They probably just know they're company is not that competent enough to not make a mistake. Again, they are asking and two you don't have to agree.

Now let's correct the title.

Jack Alexander Wrote an Article Targeting fstoppers Users for More Clicks.

Philip Philippidis's picture

I expected nothing more from Jack Alexander. He's the worst clickbait editor here.

Andrew Morse's picture

I've seen more than one company doing that, but it usually happens by the photographer tagging the company, then the company replying to the image asking to use the image as per requirements at a set link, and requesting that they tag it #yes[company name] if the photographer agrees to the terms. In other words, the company asks for consent to use it and photographer responds.

Personally, I think it's kind of a poor system which aims at creating efficiencies in gaining access to images. If someone unknowingly uses the #yes[company name] tag and the company uses it, the photographer could certainly challenge the company for inappropriate use. The company would first need to first verify that the photo owner was aware that #yes[company name] was giving consent before using the image - it sets them up for for accidentally stealing an image.

I don't think it's malicious, I think it's just lazy and cheap.

Mutley Dastardly's picture

I'll put deliveroo on my blacklist.

Michael Rapp's picture

Not sure that a simple hashtag constitutes anything at all, leave allone a binding contract. Especially one that hugely favors one side over the other,
Also, burdon of proof of, well, just about anything contracty, would be really hard to be met by Deliveroo

Idan York's picture

It's not just this company. Radisson Hotels messaged me - asking me to add their #okradisson hashtag - which takes you here: https://linktr.ee/radissonhotels
Here's some text for those who don't want to click (but it's worth noting that this is a common tactic):
You hereby grant the Radisson Hotel Group and any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, parents and successors, as well as anyone authorized by them in accordance with these terms and conditions, a perpetual[1], exclusive and unencumbered right to edit, alter, copy, exhibit, transmit, distribute, communicate to the public, publish and otherwise use the Content . . . you waive:... he right to inspect or approve any finished product wherein the Content appears; and
· the right to receive any monetary or other compensation for any use made of the Content by the Radisson Hotel Group....
Yeah, that's gonna be a "no" for me dawg.

user 65983's picture


Indy Thomas's picture


Eric Crudup's picture

A hashtag is not a contract. You don't have to read any legal type to use a hashtag. Even if you were forced to read a legal agreement before using a hashtag doesn't mean you've agreed to the legal agreement. There's no way this is enforceable unless the laws in the UK are very weird.

If I had more time on my hands I'd try to take an awesome image that they might use, use the hashtag, and then send them an invoice for the use of the photo.

Kirk Darling's picture

It's not enforceable under US law, either, and this is one area the US law is exceedingly simple and clear. The law requires an explicit statement of copyright transfer from the copyright holder specific to particular works in a document explicitly signed by the copyright holder. Blanket copyright grabs in the small print of venue tickets like "all the photographs taken in our stadium belong to us," for instance, are unenforceable.

Jacques Cornell's picture

Since when is using a hashtag equivalent to signing a contract???

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Jacques Cornell's picture

This is not Facebook.

Idan York's picture


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Jacques Cornell's picture

Quit spamming, jerk.