{UPDATE} Instagram (cough: Facebook) just gave us 2 weeks to delete our accounts or license all our photos, for free, to anyone.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Dec 18, 2012
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Instagram: your photos, going on sale, without your consent or profit.

Update: National Geographic’s last Instagram photo.

Relephant: elephant’s first Top 10 Instagrammers.

Why I hate Instagram.

Why I don’t hate Instagram.

~ Update ~

If I had the ear of Instagram:

Here’s my idea, which I’ve been talking about for weeks, as it happens, to improve Facebook (cough) Instagram. Since their coming-soon-to-a-photos-by-you changes are quite similar, I thought I’d share instead of just biiiiichin’ & moanin’. For once.

I love Instagram (see link above). As a blogger, who runs a pretty big news site, or whatever we are, we always want great photos. Instagram could and should quite easily become, in addition to what we know it as now, a unstocky-stock photo site.

All they’d have to do is, as with Flickr, allow users such as myself to mark photos as common use or private use (in the panel where we click twitter, facebook, etc). Then, all the common use photos could be reused by anyone, with a good search tool added. So I could search “put a bird on it” or “brunch” or whatever hipsterific anything, find a bunch of photos, and embed or use them in my blog. Overnight, Instagram would become the largest stock photo service in the world. Why would folks such as myself allow other folks to use our photos? The condition would be that, as with Pinterest etc, my @waylonlewis would show up, linked, in any use. So I’d get some shout-out “fame” or love and more followers, if I wanted them.

And if I were an ad agency, say, and wanted to use said images for commercial purposes, such as a major ad campaign or a hotel wanting to use images folks took of their stay at my hotel, then again I would have to give a shoutout to @whomever. Folks would love that. It would turn our feeling ripped off to our feeling like we got 15 seconds of fame. And, said ad agency or hotel would have to pay Instagram/Facebook. A share could go to the photographer, earning them money. Or, not (after all, it’d be optional, unlike the below).

That’s it. Onto the below changes, which suck.

My plan: wait to see if Instagram/Faceebook wakes up and changes these proposed changes before the 18th of January, download all my images, and move to flickr’s app full time, reluctantly. Because, as I said, I heart Instagram. What I don’t heart is being treated like an effing rights-less unhuman, while corporations demand to be treated like humans. ~ Waylon Lewis.

Just a little FYI: your Instagram photos are going on sale without your consent or profit unless you delete your account by January 18.

It’s more than photos of my dog and your dinner or latte. There’s some art on there. And there’s photos of their children, and your private moments.

If we aren’t paying, we’re the product. And even then, online…

…this is what it looks like when government abdicates its role as counterbalance to corporations in protecting individuals.

“So, it took Facebook about 2 months to annihilate a fine product.

It’s even more sad that about 60% of the users couldn’t give a shit about it.”

Read up:

Instagram says it now has the right to sell your photos, and they don’t have to pay you (news.cnet.com)

Instagram said today that it has the perpetual right to sell users’ photographs without payment or notification, a dramatic policy shift that quickly sparked a public outcry.

The new intellectual property policy, which takes effect on January 16, comes three months after Facebook completed its acquisition of the popular photo-sharing site. Unless Instagram users delete their accounts before the January deadline, they cannot opt out.

Under the new policy, Facebook claims the perpetual right to license all public Instagram photos to companies or any other organization, including for advertising purposes, which would effectively transform the Web site into the world’s largest stock photo agency. One irked Twitter user quipped that “Instagram is now the new iStockPhoto, except they won’t have to pay you anything to use your images.”


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


16 Responses to “{UPDATE} Instagram (cough: Facebook) just gave us 2 weeks to delete our accounts or license all our photos, for free, to anyone.”

  1. Reality Check says:

    …this is what it looks like when government abdicates its role as counterbalance to corporations in protecting individuals.

    You must be joking. There are terms of use with any website like this. It is a contract. It is part of the agreement to use the service.

    You can opt out by not using the service.

    It is your responsibility to protect your own intellectual property by not signing it away.

    The Government has no role whatsoever in this.

    It is good however that you are letting people know of the change so that they can protect themselves if they choose to. (which they should.)

    But it is not the job of government to think for you. Keep asking though, they will be happy to.

  2. Catoneiric says:

    Why the loud complaining? It’s a service provided to me that I chose to use, didn’t have to pay for, and I can seek out other options if I choose.

    Remove your pictures if you’d rather not give them away.

    I will choose which images I take with the app more carefully, thanks to heads up I received (blatantly on the application itself). I personally don’t care if the pictures I leave there are used for free by a company, or even if *gasp* someone else profits from it.

    Find a cause worth fighting for, please. This is not it.

  3. Diane says:

    It’s not just about selling someone elses’s personal property and not compensating the owner (which isn’t ok, btw). They are going to start collecting more detailed information about the users and selling that, too. If you don’t mind being sold, okay. I’m not on Instagram but my 11-year-old daughter is. I told her what was happening and that she was going to have to shut down her account. She thinks the people behind this are “fartnuggets.” I wholeheartedly agree. Fartnuggets, indeed.

  4. […] Here’s my idea for an easy, profitable, awesome, fun fix that would benefit user and Instagram/Facebook ali… […]

  5. elephantjournal says:

    Did you read the intro? That's exactly what many will do, including myself. And no one's selling this as a "cause worth fighting for"—it's the definition of first world problems. That doesn't mean it doesn't matter, but it's within context. they have to listen…we need to keep making noise. That's linked here: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/12/national-g

    Glad you got a heads up: I didn't, not via Instagram.

  6. elephantjournal says:

    I'm not joking–many organizations, if you've read coverage, see this as a continued stretch of the envelope of basic privacy rights.

    And of course the government can/should have a role in this—from hunting licenses to traffic regulations to food safety to "Senator Franken Wants Us to Know When Our Apps Are Tracking Us – The proposed legislation will require companies that develop and sell mobile apps get our consent before such programs are installed on our mobile devices. The bill would prohibit the covert monitoring of a person’s location, as well. (verdict.justia.com)" http://verdict.justia.com/2012/12/18/senator-fran

    …one of the roles of the government is to (truly) serve and protect. Of course it frequently fails to do so, largely because of competing influences—lobbyists, competing interests, popularity or lack thereof, corporate power.

  7. elephantjournal says:

    Best comment yet!

  8. Jane Plain says:

    Shut up.

  9. HLewis says:

    To me, it's much less about the intellectual rights to the photo (and the profit that goes with it), than it is about using someone's likeness without their permission. When photographers photograph people, they own those photographs, ok, that's all fine and well to have ownership of that photograph. However, in order to place that photo in a commercial or print ad outside of their own use, or sell it for any other purpose than as a display of art, that photographer must get written consent from the person being photographed.

    Instagram has no way to get this permission, or of controlling what the buyers of these photographs do with them or how they may alter them. This is opening Facebook up to a whole slew of possible lawsuits. If I see my picture in an ad that I didn't authorize, especially if it's been altered in some way, I will certainly take issue with this. I didn't sign my likeness over to them when someone else snapped my picture, and unless the original photographer has something I signed stating that I did so, this isn't right.

    There is a reason that photographers who deal with models of any sort, or producers of TV and film, have people sign tons of very specific paperwork.

  10. But you are consenting. You consent when you download the app and start taking and uploading pictures. Why is that lost on so many people? Let me guess, you posted that stupid status update on your Facebook when that was a thing a few weeks ago too? Facebook and their evil minions can't steal what you already gave them.

    And maybe I'm crazy, but why would anyone post private, sensitive photos to their instagram feed? If you wouldn't want the world to see these precious moments, then why the hell would you post them to Instagram? Isn't that defeating the whole purpose of the app? You are taking pictures so that all users of that service can see them. The point is to get followers. The point is to display your pictures. Am I missing something?

    If you're so outraged, delete your pictures and stop using the app, like you state in your article above. See? No more doing it with your consent. It's not a utility, it's not in the Bill of Rights. It's a company that offers a service that we can all take or leave. Sounds like you'll be leaving. Good for you!

    As for me, I doubt they will use my mediocre pictures anyway.

  11. Why SEO? says:

    Here's 11 amusing responses to Instagram's Privacy changes: http://why-seo.info/11-most-interesting-responses

  12. Reality Check says:

    I am not interested in what a lot of groups think about it.

    The fact remains that it is a contract issue. The only role government has in contracts is ensuring that they are legal, and properly enforced.
    The Al Franken bill is a strawman, nothing to do with this issue.

    If I agree to loan you my camera, and you sign a contract that agrees not to delete the photos you take, and grants me the right to them, then you have no recourse if I use them. Simple.

    If you agree to the terms of use, and the terms of use are disclosed, and not illegal, the government has no role. Period. You have a choice not to sign the contract. IT is really basic.

    The issue of using people’s likenesses without consent that is raised below, now that could be sticky, and could actually involve the courts. I do wonder if it would be the photographer who would be held responsible, since they have essentially sold the likeness for nothing. That is a real issue.
    However, a contract is a contract, so no government should not be stopping the company, the individual should, by opting out of the service.

    Also, just ditch the smartphone, you don’t need it anyway.

  13. K.Anderson says:

    Wow, can't believe the nerve. Thanks for the heads up, account deleted. Cheers

  14. Carl says:

    That's plain bullshit, and I make my living creating and selling images. I mean how would anyone like to have their intellectual property walked on this way…I find this move highly offensive and another reason to proudly hold my two fingers in the air at corporations for their distinct lack of humanization. [email protected]#k em.

  15. pirater says:

    If you think that writing on Twitter, ‘I can not think my life is now it sucks.

    Some people do choose to invite coworkers, managers,

    and other professionals because they are intentionally using Facebook to leverage

    their career brand. But spend the majority of your time

    concentrating on building a strong, positive image of you.