The Verge on Instagram-gate: "they can't sell your photos," but they did screw up royally

An alternate reading on Instagram's new terms and conditions, which are causing all sorts of upset on the internet today, at The Verge.


  1. Actually, guy at The Verge, they are most definitely selling your photos. Usage rights are still being granted for money. Not being able to modify is just part of the deal. Instagram is essentially a big stock photography business. The only difference (for advertisers) is they have to put people’s implied-endorsement-by-picture in a separate box.

    The condescending swipe at people who find a problem with being used to sell stuff without their permission:

    It’s no wonder Instagram’s new terms have triggered a passionate, emotional reaction in people who don’t understand them — the same thing happens to Facebook users who are constantly falling for privacy hoaxes.

    is lame. Maybe this response is happening because a personal photo is such an easy to understand concept–versus “likes” and “friends”–that people who haven’t put up a stink about Facebook are finally realizing how the money’s made.

    The writer should’ve asked advertisers if they think they’re buying the photos. Bet there’s a purchase order or two that says they are.

  2. So, the way I read it, they can’t simply sell your photos. But they can take your drunk photos, add on “remember that great drunk feeling?  Live it again with Budweiser,” and send it back to you and all your friends and coworkers and prospective employers.  And they can take your photos of your kids, add on “Wouldn’t it be terrible if something happened?  Life insurance from Liberty Mutual”, and send it to your parents.

    Hey, you clicked “Agree.”

  3. Old terms:  “…grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license…”

    New terms: “…grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license…”

    I don’t see anything that limits to whom the company can sub-license images or for what purposes.  The new terms seem to go beyond the rights Instagram needs to run the service.

  4. The sad thing is that this country has real freaking problems that are essentially being ignored: police state, unlawful wars, indefinite detainment, war profiting, big industry control, etc etc; meanwhile, a very slight and very misunderstood change in instagram’s tos suddenly moves people to action.

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