For those not familiar with Instagram it is a free social network that allows users to share photographs taken with their mobile devices. The user can then apply filters if they chose and share with their friends and the world. Today they have announced that they will start selling users photographs for profit similar to Shutterstock, iStockphoto, among many others. Finally, a way to make that new smart phone pay for itself!!
So how much do you make from your photos sold? Absolutely nothing. According to Instagram the new intellectual property policy will take effect January 16, 2013. If you delete your account after the January deadline you cannot opt out.
So what does this mean? This new policy allows for Facebook/Instagram to sell your photos to anyone for advertising, websites, and so forth without the consent of the owner. So if you took pics of your kids playing on the beach, those photos could be sold for websites, advertising and brochures. Which brings up a long list of concerns and possibly breaking various privacy laws.
Personally I don’t like this idea at all. First off it should be up to the user if the photo can be sold or not. If they opt for it being sold, then they should get some piece of the pie. Without the users they would not have anything to sell to begin with. Instagram was a way for aspiring artists to get their creativity to be seen. It’s sad that a company like this would try to monetize its users work without any compensation to the owner of the photo.
I’m curious as to how many users they will lose before the deadline. Personally, I would switch to Flickr. At least on their site if someone want to use your photograph, you can get paid.
The pictures in this post are by a friend of mine John Googe. On his off time as a Glynn County Fire Fighter he shares his creations via Instagram. His handle is grooge79_ru, if you get a chance you should definitely check out his work.
Thank you for reading and while your here, kick back and take a look at some of my other articles and photographs.