Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
EDIT 19/12/12: Instagram has responded.

Though the language they use seems to want to overly passify rather than address issues. "Your photos are your photos and we respect that." is a nice sentiment but does not necessarily exclude "we have the right to license and use your stuff even though you own the content" By signing up to instagram you are giving them permission to do this even though you do technically own the content you are submitting.

I'm not going to flail my arms about doom, but I will say, artists be aware. Not just about this, but about any contracts you sign. There is some real sketchy language in the fine print here that needs to be clarified or changed as of right now. More than just an "everything's fine, don't worry" letter. Company lawyers have a tendency to try to take the largest chunk of whatever they can, and only back off when their actions are made public and they are pressured into doing so. As artists, it is our job to push back and demand reasonable terms for both us as the end user and them as a profit-driven business. Educate yourself about copyright law and read the fine print. Make informed choices. Protect and value your work.



Look out, Photographers, it's time for some corporate policy changes that affect us all.

Instagram has changed its policy so that they can sell your photos without paying you or notifying you.


- On January 16th 2013, these policy changes take effect. Accounts created and content uploaded after January 16th will have these policies apply to them.

- Deleting your content or account after January 16th does not necessarily terminate Instagram's claim to ownership of your content.

- Instagram claims the right to license (sell) your photos to businesses for use. They do not have to notify you or pay you for you content.

- Instagram removes itself from liability such as class action lawsuits, including making formerly private photos public.

Those are just the main points of danger for an artist, but I fully reccommend reading the full article. Here is another article. Now that you've seen the language, take a breath. It's not time to panic just yet. Just because Instagram has drafted this kind of legal language, doesn't necessarily mean they will personally hunt down your private photos, sell them to an ad company and make zillions of dollars off of it. They merely claim the right to do so.

This is what artists should be mad about. That even if they don't follow through with their terms, the terms they are setting are unreasonable and hurt artists in pursuit of corporate profit.

Mad enough to do something about it? All right.

You can Tweet Kevin Systrom (CEO, co-founder) or Mike Krieger (co-founder) about the policy changes and how they affect you as an artist.

You can Write them a letter about it.

Something along the lines of:


To Whom This May Concern,

I have read the new Instagram policy changes for 2013, and I am deeply concerned.
As an artist, I believe that content submitters should have the option to opt out of commercial use of their content.
Artists should be notified and asked permission if a commercial party wishes to use their content for advertising.
Artists should have the right to refuse commercial use to anyone for any reason.
Artists should be compensated fairly for use of their content and maintain legal ownership of the intellectual property.

Your future policy changes are unacceptable.

Because Instagram forces these policy changes onto users with no option for termination, I will be deleting my Instagram account and removing all of my content before January 16, 2013 to prevent retroactive ownership of my content.

Sincerely, Name





(Last bit optional. You can write whatever you want, but try to avoid petty name-calling.)

I want you to feel empowered as an artist. Someone who has control over the content that you produce. I'm not asking you to do any of this as a favour to me. I just want you to be informed and able to take action if you feel strongly enough about the situation. Believe it or not, your voice does matter. Enough focused activism can change corporate policy for the better.

Good luck and own your art!

EDIT: Here is a Wired article that shows you how to download all of your photos and delete your account if you're interested.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconcherry-taste:
cherry-taste Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thanks for the warning. this is a serious issue indeed.
Reply
:iconride2live-live2ride:
Ride2Live-Live2Ride Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
No, it's true. Instagram can sell your art for however much they want. They can blow it up big, bigger, or humungous. AND then sell it without telling you, without giving you any credit or money. It's true.

Say Purina is looking for a new puppy to put on all of their dog food bags. They can see what dog pictures got a certain number of likes or views. "Hhmm...this is a nice dog...let's see if Purina wants it."
"Hello? Purina? Yes, we have a nice dog picture here, we'll sell it to you for 1 million dollars." [[I have no idea how much they'd sell it for.]] Then, you get no credit for taking the picture, you get no money, and Instagram now owns ALL of your pictures.
Reply
:iconhorse782:
horse782 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Honestly, Instagram photos are basically thumbnails. How would they sell them? Who would buy a picture that size? I don't use instagram for posting art, so I'm not really worried, but what are they trying to prove?
Reply
:iconrobynrose:
RobynRose Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012
An example given was that they'd license the photos to company websites looking to show user-submitted style content. Such as a photostream by budweiser beer "take a look at the great parties going on with budweiser" even though they could not put a budweiser logo on top of the photos.
Reply
:iconhorse782:
horse782 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
[link]
There's an updated version of the article above, I think. Maybe we won't have anything to worry about
Reply
:iconaaawhyme:
aaawhyme Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
facebook can too!
Reply
:iconhorneddragon:
HornedDragon Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Student General Artist
Actually, facebook might be worse. Or more aggressive, from what I've heard.

But with some caution...
Reply
:iconfrozenmaple:
FrozenMaple Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2014
This is exactly why i dont like my mom posting my art on her damn facebook. Then she got pissed when i told her to take it down. It's my art. She doesnt own it, she has NO FUCKING RIGHT to post it where i dont want it it be >:[
Reply
:iconxcrea:
xCrea Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Honestly, if Instagram wants to sell my photos, then be my guest. I don't use instagram as a platform for my photography as art. People posting their professional and/or hobby-based photos on instagram is just wrong anyway (as it's supposed to be a mobile phone community with phone camera).

In my opinion people are just stupid. Besides, calling yourself photographer is in no way a protected title, so I hope anyone doing photography thinks things through.
Reply
:iconrukia21love:
Rukia21love Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012
Thank you for sharing this.
Reply
:iconxxxwargirlxxx:
xxxWARGIRLxxx Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
damn that's really fucked up. Glad I dont have an Instagram! :3
Reply
:iconkirara-nyan:
Kirara-nYaN Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:iconinuscreamplz: I have an Instagram account, but I only post.. well.. honestly.. irrelevant photos of my typical everyday living. I specifically post my art here on dA. Well.. on my Facebook Page, I post low quality versions of my art, so I have no worries.

Anyhow, thank you SO VERY MUCH for this informative journal. I'll be more alert from now on! SALUTE!!
Reply
:iconbenjamin-biddix:
Benjamin-Biddix Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I sent a e-mail last night.....It was......colorful. :shifty:

These are the reasons why my Facebook is very inactive, I try to avoid the tyrant known as Mark Zuckerbucks. :nod:
Reply
:iconbluesolitaire:
BlueSolitaire Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
For this reason I just deleted all my photos and arts off my FaceBook page. I have prints on here that I put on FB and they're my property to do with what I please (like you mentioned). The "To Whom It May Concern" form letter is spot on. I like how it's worded: no nonsense, impersonal yet business-like without being threatening. Nice work. (Thankfully I've never heard of Instagram, and won't be even looking into it.)
Thanks for the info. :salute:
Reply
:iconsweet-southern-rain:
Sweet-Southern-Rain Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012
I personally do not have an Instgram account, but I think it is so stupid that they are doing this. If is was taken by you then it is your property. If they are going to stoop to this low of a level just make money off of other peoples are hard and dedication then they should atleast notify you and pay you alittle. I paid $300+ for my camera that I am getting for Christmas and I would not stand for someone stealing my work to make a profit off of it.

I say that we should boycott Instagram and teach them a lesson!

But that just my opinion.....
Reply
:iconespliego:
Espliego Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
i don't like their response.....
Reply
:iconespliego:
Espliego Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I mean not the response, the edit... its not right that they're doing that.. yeah you sign up for the website but its wrong... they're selling personal photos to strangers and next thing you know your picture is on some website you never heard of and being showed off to a much of people who were not intentionally supposed to see it...(if that makes sense...)
Reply
:iconrukastephanieluna:
RukaStephanieLuna Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It's does, I understood what you meant.
Reply
:iconespliego:
Espliego Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
ah! ok :)
Reply
:iconieitmotif:
Ieitmotif Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012
Hipsters are gonna have some problems.
Reply
:iconfelzlycia:
FelzLycia Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I never use Instagram. And I won't use it for sure, 'cause I know the consequences. I think Instagram is just for having fun. Editing your photo(s) using Instagram's features, not by your own creation, is just like being a fake artist. :rage:
So I prefer use Photoshop. It doesn't matter [for me] how bad or how good is your art, as long it's your original, I really appreciate it. :bow:
Artist exploitation should be stopped. Artists also need appreciation. :nod:
Reply
:iconradley-kun:
Radley-kun Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Did anyone notice the 'EDIT'?
Reply
:iconhyakkidour4n:
HyaKkiDouR4n Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Internet is all about using people's work for free... so I am not surprised.
Reply
:iconafricanobserver:
AfricanObserver Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Very sanely put. Nothing is free, and the expectation that many have that it should be is quite misguided, and often irritating.
But even their current terms are also a bit ... vague

you hereby grant to Instagram 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.
[link]

That's different to the dA terms, which has a rather important clause: "the sole purpose of enabling us to make your Content available through the Service"

One needs to give the service the right to distribute the work. The question is how far that right goes. The current Instagram license allows derivative works, and 'any media channels' is rather open to extension, I think.

Facebook has a long history of pushing the intellectual property boundary as far as they possibly can. Remember that you are Facebook (and thus now Instagram)'s product, not their customer (which are their advertisers, who pay them money).

If the service adds value that offsets the value you see in the images, use it. If it doesn't, stay clear. I have one image on my Facebook account, and don't intend to change that.
Reply
:iconsheylu:
Sheylu Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
Any real photographer concerned with profiting off their photo s wouldn't use instagram.......?

I think it's all pretty harmless.
Reply
:iconv1902:
V1902 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist
"Haha, did we say that? Just kidding. Thanks for all the press!"
Reply
:iconbondofox:
BondoFox Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Now I wish I had an account there so I could delete it.
Reply
:iconmonochromera:
monochromera Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
if I'm not mistaken, facebook has similar policies. I had to study the entire long agreement thing you get just before you join (the one nobody ever wants to read when they join a website or download a program) as an assignment and it has something along the lines of facebook being able to own content uploaded to it, and how copyrights are made ineffective when content is uploaded to the site. it's been a while since then though, so I wouldn't know if it changed or if I'm remembering wrong, but that's what I got out of it.
Reply
:icontemporalaberration:
TemporalAberration Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
You grant similar rights to DeviantArt as well. They can use your work royalty-free, which means they can and do profit off of it already.

16. Copyright in Your Content
deviantART does not claim ownership rights in Your Content. For the sole purpose of enabling us to make your Content available through the Service, you grant to deviantART a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, re-format, store, prepare derivative works based on, and publicly display and perform Your Content. Please note that when you upload Content, third parties will be able to copy, distribute and display your Content using readily available tools on their computers for this purpose although other than by linking to your Content on deviantART any use by a third party of your Content could violate paragraph 4 of these Terms and Conditions unless the third party receives permission from you by license.
Reply
:iconrobynrose:
RobynRose Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
Both sections claim to be about automatic thumbnail generation. Which, technically it is. When we upload any artwork, our art is automatically resized and made into a clickable thumbnail. This technically counts as reproduction and modification.

Though the language of both is very broad and doesn't necessarily work in the artist's favour.
Reply
:icontemporalaberration:
TemporalAberration Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
They do sell ad-free subscriptions though, so they are making a commercial profit of off all of the art, if not specific pieces.
Reply
:iconrobynrose:
RobynRose Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
This is true, and, like instagram, they host and service millions of accounts and files. That's a lot of bandwidth every day. Personally, I don't really lean one way or the other about it. I respect that an online business needs enough profit to stay afloat. Can't just give it all away for free (same for me and my stock images). But I also know that the power structure is pretty uneven when it comes to big companies vs. independant artists. Most of the time, it's the small artist that loses out. We're not copyright "ambulance chasers" yet we have few options when it comes to protecting our work vs promoting it to the greater world.

I think it's an issue that requires more time and input as the web itself evolves.
Reply
:icontemporalaberration:
TemporalAberration Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I'm glad you have an open mind. I like following artists like you and my friends on Instagram. I don't want to see anyone afraid to share because of these kinds of policies.
Reply
:iconapple2017:
apple2017 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
That's different. DA doesn't make commercial profit off your work. All the rights they claim merely associate with displaying your work on the website, and storing and distributing in case you wanna make prints out of them. Or at least that's what I understand.
Nothing about DA making commercial profit in those rights, so you should not be worried.
Reply
:icontemporalaberration:
TemporalAberration Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
They do sell ad-free subscriptions though, so they are making a commercial profit of off all of the art, if not specific pieces.
Reply
:iconapple2017:
apple2017 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
:| Ads use images from the gallery of those who wants to be advertised.
Premium is just to get rid of those ads, they don't use your art commercially if you don't wish for them to.
Reply
:icontemporalaberration:
TemporalAberration Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh, I get that. I just mean that all of the art itself is an attraction that is paid for. For instance, you have some lovely art and people could subscribe to deviantart to avoid seeing ads while they look at it. You won't get any money directly from that. It's just part of using someone else's service to showcase your art. Almost all of the social networks have this feature built in to some extent. They have to make money somehow. They provide a means for you to display content, and they make money off of that.
Reply
:iconapple2017:
apple2017 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
That I know. It's pretty obvious ^^;;;
What does that have anything to do with your original comment though? You claimed that DA claims the same terms as the new ones Instagram proposes, and I said it doesn't ^^;;;
Reply
:icontemporalaberration:
TemporalAberration Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
They're similar enough in my eyes. They have a license to use your content royalty free. The original Instagram statement was a little more explicit in saying that could make money from it, but neither prohibits it. My main point is not to be worried about it. I'm happy we have such powerful ways to share.
Reply
:iconapple2017:
apple2017 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012
... Are you really suggesting that the two are similar in nature? See now I'm worried, because you don't seem to be saying that as a joke ^^;
DA doesn't HAVE any license to USE your content royalty free. Instagram HAS.
DA only indirectly generates profit from advertisement made in your gallery. Instagram can actually SELL off your work to the third party and keep the profit.
DA doesn't OWN your work. Instagram DOES.

Anyway, this no longer actually matters, as Instagram has taken back those terms.
Reply
:iconketsueki-no-megami:
Ketsueki-No-Megami Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Just glad I don't sell ANY of my art...
Reply
:icont3h-puppeteer:
t3h-puppeteer Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I'm glad I never got into Instagram. I don't want them selling my artwork/photographs behind my back :I
Reply
:iconmechart-charachan:
MechArt-CharaChan Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Professional
Thank goodness I never use/join Instagram :iconphewplz:
Reply
:iconrockingquix:
RockingQuix Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Student General Artist
Didn't even know what instagram was a 3 weeks ago, was not gonna use it and definitely not now =;D
Reply
:iconletrainfalldown:
letrainfalldown Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you so much for the heads up!
Reply
:iconeuphreana:
Euphreana Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
Sony's doing the same thing to its job applicants. If you so much as apply, they own your stuff. [link]
It's a fad. :|
Reply
:iconbad-chop-suey:
bad-chop-suey Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
how dare they
Reply
:iconmusicfruit:
MusicFruit Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
I thought a 'free' app would be something like this..
Reply
:iconmarshchoco:
marshchoco Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Student General Artist
and thats why i never join things like that...
Reply
:iconblodia:
blodia Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
might want to read up on some updated stories, eg [link]
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

:iconrobynrose: More from RobynRose


Featured in Collections

Journals and infos by Rollinlol95

Journals by Ila-Turelmes

Journals by xlilCarol


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
December 18, 2012
Thumb

Stats

Views
30,586
Favourites
142 (who?)
Comments
213
×