Instagram Wants to Sell MY Photos: Changes to Instagram’s Photo Policy

Instagram’s User Services

Changes to Instagram’s Photo Policy

Instagram wants to sell MY photos (and yours too!) without giving any rights to the photos or monetary compensation. Recently Instagram changed their user options and unless users opt out by January 13th, their photos are free game to be sold to advertisers.

As a Calgary based photographer, it would be nice to see my photography in print in the U.S. market. However, it would be nice to see it in print with MY name given credit to the work and while we at it, a nice sized cheque as well!

But when a company wants to use my photos without giving me any photo credit, no monetary compensation, and probably worst of all, no discretion on where my photo is placed (i.e. for all I know it could be sold to a tobacco company!), I say NO WAY!

Instagram Sells Photos Without Permission

The new Instagram clause states:

We may share your information as well as information from tools like cookies, log files, and device identifiers and location data with organizations that help us provide the service to you… [and] third-party advertising partners…To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.

Instagram suggests that this change had to be done to “fight spam more effectively, detect system and reliability problems.” If Instagram’s claim are true and that it needed to find a way to make the app run more smoothly, why not charge for the app to use it advertisement free, charging users who don’t like to look at advertisements and having advertisers pay to advertise on free versions on the app. This is how many techies monetize their apps.

No Instagram Opt Out Clause

Perhaps if Instagram had an opt-put clause, I would be more willing to use their app (after-all, the app is free and its a fun way to show off my photos). And if Instagram decided to charge for their app, at say a price of $2.99, I would more than likely pay for it. But with no-opt out clause, it looks like I will be on the search for a different app, or I will stick to using the iphone 5’s build in photo sharing tool.

Instagram Commits Suicide

New York-based photographer Clayton Cubbit wrote about the policy amendment, calling it “Instagram’s suicide note.” I think that he may be right.

Will you be shutting down your Instagram account?

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