I’ve started blogging more on my website again, partly because I want to have more personal control and ownership of my content. I don’t like many of the terms and conditions written into Facebook particularly, but I also don’t want to abandon the platform entirely because so many of my friends and family use it fairly exclusively. Facebook often reminds me of the adage “If it’s free, you are what’s for sale.” but they really do it smarmier than makes me comfortable.
Unfortunately it looks like they’ve gotten their smarmy hands into the Instagram Terms of Service.
Rather than push a tremendous amount of content onto Facebook, I’ve decided to put it here, where I can write a bit more, and then link it onto Facebook, rather than have Facebook control my content, I’m going to control my content. I have ownership of what I publish here. Facebook doesn’t gain any sort of license to items simply linked on their site. If you post it there, they get license. The same is now apparently true of Instagram. In the upcoming terms of service with Instagram going into effect in January of 2013 you will grant Instagram a transferable sub licensable right to your uploaded photos. They can claim all they want this is only to help with sharing, but it’s very specific language that is absent from other image services like Flickr and Picasa.
This is unfortunate because I’ve just recently started taking more photos on Instagram this past week in my effort to free myself from Facebook. I should have considered that more, given Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram. Maybe I should have known this would happen.
Instagram is very clear that you maintain ownership of your photos, but those little words where you grant them a royalty free transferable sub-licensable license to your photos, essentially lets them be a co-owner and able to sell them to whomever they want. That’s not cool, and maybe it’s something that Instagram will edit out of their Terms, but for now it has me wondering whether I want to try a different service altogether. I like the filters of Instagram, but sometimes I just want to upload a high res photo.
I formerly had a Flickr account, and they apparently are putting alot more effort into Flickr not that Marrissa Mayer is there. She’s apparently having them invest in getting Flickr good again, and the new apps look intriguing.
I think I might ditch my Instagram account for the new Flickr and give that a whirl for awhile. Not only does it let me post filtered photos, but also normal high res photos, and on top of that their Terms of Service doesn’t grant them any kind of license to resell my photos.