Concerns about Rights for the Photos being uploaded to Instagram

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  • Updated 8 years ago
Dear Instagram,

Before I continue with what I have in mind, let me say first that, yes I understand that you are the owner and the creator of Instagram, and yes considering this, you can practically do whatever you want with it, and everything in it.

But, since you created this app, not just for you but for the consumption of the wider audiences, there bound to be be some concerns about some things.

What I'm talking here is, the part in your T&C which says, in short - please CMIIW, that as long as we make our account public, than automatically all photos that we upload to Instagram, is indeed 'public'. Public as in Public Domain, Public in every sense. Which means that *anybody* can take our photos, and use it for pretty damn anything they want.

Now, I understand, that you must be putting this clause to protect yourself. And this is OK for me. But, if you please spare some thought, what about your member protection?

For a few weeks now that I've become a member of Instagram and I love it to the point of addiction. I am following right now about 800 other users, and I can see the various ways that they use Instagram for, likewise I've seen also the variety of photos they are uploading.

Many of Instagram users are professional photographers, artists, designer, etc, of whom photos are obviously have rights that belong to the owners.

Of course, you can argue, that if we have this kind of photos (that have license on it), we shouldn't use Instagram. But this is, IMHO a childish argument, and it's actually a limitation that will hinder Instagram to be one of the best app it could be. Already some of my followers expressing their intention to stop using Instagram if there is no step taken.
Again, you probably can say that you don't need these users, and prefer to let them go than to deal with it. We all know very well how this kind of attitude could end up :)

You can also argue that you've already implemented the Private Account. Sure it can work, but the *reality* is that every photo has its own requirement, some photos are private (photos of our children for example), but some others we want to share it to the public. You don't expect each user has 2 accounts (one private - one public) just so we could separate the two types, do you?

At the moment we are living in a wall-gardened that is the Instagram App, so practically only our Followers can see our photos (unless we upload it to other services). So we feel safe.

But when your Website finally arrives (you are working on a website, aren't you?), what then? Surely you will implement a some kind of Public Timeline (do you?), then all hell break loose.

We all love Instagram, and we don't want to lose it just because of this. So we are asking you to thing about ways that you could do to make this matter of Rights better.
I'm sure you know how Flickr works, which I believe satisfied everybody. Users can pick which licensing a photo will have, and we all adhere to this. I think this is the best solution.

You will be protected, and so will we. And we can continue to enjoy the great things coming out from this app.
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Chris Prakoso

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  • concerned

Posted 8 years ago

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Chrysti

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Well said.

I (and others) should have fully read the TOS before getting so involved with Instagram. A link to the TOS is here: http://instagr.am/legal/terms/

As you know, there is a big discussion on this happening on my photo stream (search for user chrysti) - lots of opinions and thoughts on the matter there, I plan to direct folks to come here.

I have no qualms with IG wanting to protect themselves, but there are other, far less liberal and intrusive ways to do so. In particular my issue comes up essentially anyone being able to use the public images that I post for any reason.

"By displaying or publishing ("posting") any Content on or through the Instagram Services, you hereby grant to Instagram and other users a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels, except Content not shared publicly ("private") will not be distributed outside the Instagram Services. Instagram and/or other Users may copy, print or display publicly available Content outside of the Instagram Services, including without limitation, via the Site or third party websites or applications (for example, services allowing Users to order prints of Content or t-shirts and similar items containing Content)."

It needs to be changed. I am aware of this in the agreement as well:

"The Instagram Services contain Content of Users and other Instagram licensors. Except as provided within this Agreement, you may not copy, modify, translate, publish, broadcast, transmit, distribute, perform, display, or sell any Content appearing on or through the Instagram Services."

But that is basically moot since the prior paragraph grants all users permission to use/distribute the images as they see fit. While I don't think that was the intent of the IG team it is nonetheless a loophole I am not comfortable with.

Will this be addressed? Changed? I have really grown to love the IG community and would hate to see this end it for me.

Chrysti
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Frosty

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I can't think of anything to add that these two above me have already stated. I simply do not like the thought of giving up my pictures to anyone because I chose to share them on your site.

I am sure there are many others who feel the same way. Please consider changing this. You all have done so well at listening to the needs, concerns, and wishes of the community. I hope you will address this one as well.
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Benamon Tame

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In full support of all of the above!

I have been in contact with Glyn Evans who runs the iPhoneography.com over the issues and he has run an articles which should help raise awareness further ( I have passed on a link to this site as well) Hopefully the Insta team will respond well and not think they can just shrug off those of us that object.

Benamon
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Pu The Owl

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I don't think the point, as somebody puts it, is whether IG team had malevolent intentions or not or the fact in any case no image is safe on the internet. The point is IG is offering a service and as it is now there are issues about the way this service works concerning copyrights matter. Many users are not aware of this and the Terms of Service are not very clear about it either. Users should be granted a choice as to how they want to release their material. And they should be protected by default, not as an option to be added perhaps in some near future.
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Dimitris Karathanos

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I fully agree with all the aforementioned and hope that this seriously disencouraging parameter to Instagram will be changed quickly. When one talks about "community", and "creativity" then one should be aware that these values need to guarded and protected from within.
I can't see myself instagraming in the future under the knowledge that my efforts are bound to become anyone else's property by a simple click of the mouse.
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Evy Olivia

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I have dilemma for this. First since we validate by noticing it, i am scared that other (third parties) who merely have bad attention become conscious of what they can do with our pictures right NOW as I write this down since there's no prevention yet been taken by IG. In other hand, I totally appreciate the good will that Chrysti had to notify us about the safety of our pictures. I live by what I create so copyright is definitely an critical and very important issue for me. I do want to take positive notes that it's not IG intention to sell or market our pics but i am totally agree there's should be changes being done in IG Terms Of Service.

Since IG team has been done a really good job in listening to their users suggestion, I am hoping for some good changes will be done and effective immediately.

Thanks so much for this forum. It's a good way to communicate with others and I'm really happy that Chrysti and Mahadewa has taken a quick response for this matter.

Neo121
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adrianao.

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Thanks to you both for starting this discussion. I think the PROPRIETARY RIGHTS IN CONTENT ON INSTAGRAM are by now a sensible topic that definitely need some attention and clarification.

I read them when I started a week ago and was half contented with the first sentence:

"Instagram does not claim any ownership rights in the text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, musical works, works of authorship, applications, or any other materials (collectively, "Content") that you post on or through the Instagram Services."

The following lines or the whole paragraph, however, left me a little irritated, i.e. left me with a question mark. Then again I thought, IG is just starting, so there are certainly points that might need some changes or adjustments later on. The idea of IG was too good and to good not participate.

I am totally aware that IG needs self protection-clauses, but I also cannot see the point that there shouldn't be some better ways to protect the rights of users / members as well. By now. FLICKR should be a well-known, well-practised, well approved example.

You ( Chris Prakoso and Christi) outlined it in full details, there is nothing to add from my side.

I leave a comment and hope more will do so, because I support your taking up some "action".

revalo.
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Kerewin

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Thanks for responding to this concern so quickly Instagram Team!
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mathew moule

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sort it out Instagram guys, we dont want to be shafted!
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leejhealy

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Whether we as owners of our pictures give our permission or not, even if IG changed its T&C's to be more respectful of intellectual copyright (which they should), anything and everything is, unfortunately, fair game online. We're never more than a screengrab away from having our pictures nicked. The only solution is not to post anything, anywhere, ever. It is a good argument for keeping IG simple. No tagging images, no searching images, no saving images. All of this does offer some protection - at the moment, at least.
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Ray Man

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I totally agree with all the above responses. I'm not comfortable with the IG teams contradicting Rights. (Thank you chrysti for bringing that to our attention). I'm sorry, but the whole purpose of this app is to share your photos to the 'public.' If you put your photos on private then there really isn't much point of this app. Please change this. I assure you, you will not find an instagram user that begs to differ.

are_a_why_man
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Kerewin

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Guys, IG has already amended their TOS. They've reacted with grace and swiftness. Go read the new TOS! =)
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aemclaughlin

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I understand the TOS has now been changed. Wow that was fast!

I believe that IG will attract and retain stronger participation in the photography community by implimenting Creative Commons and a watermark option for users.

My IG wish list includes a Creative Commons option for every image, just like Flickr. I would also like a new filter added that allows me to apply my watermark over each image. That means I would also like to be able to apply more than one IG filter to my images so I could use a fun filter and then apply the watermark. Finally, after both of those are in place, I'd like to be able to zoom in on anyone's image using iPhone gestures.

Higher res image uploads would also allow quality prints, t-shirts and refrigerator magnets like these I just made:
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Moish

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Totally share the sentiments of the pros. To me as a regular user it feels invasive but to professional photographers that's an outright [potential] loss. Instagram, you're good folks, don't go the Facebook rout :)
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Chris Prakoso

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Ok, folks ... I have to give it to Instagram for *listening* to their Users.
In only a couple hours since Christy put up her photos, Instagram has answered our concerns and changed their TOS!
Thank you Instagram for listening. Keep up the good work!

For everybody who wants to read the new TOS, please go to this link: http://instagr.am/legal/terms/
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Eric

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It would be ridiculous if all documents created in Microsoft Word belonged to Microsoft or if all photos edited in Photoshop belongs to Adobe.
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Chris Prakoso

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@Eric Actually this one *was* worst :) The document that we created in MS Word was belong to *everybody* who found it, and not only that, that person can edit, change, or add more stuff and claim that it's his, and nothing that you can do about it :D