I saw this article in the news this morning about the new policy change at Instagram allowing them the right the do whatever they want with your photos without payment, notification or even the chance to opt out. My thoughts immediately went out to the hipsters of the world. How will they be able to show the world what they ate for breakfast now?
I can’t stand hipsters, I hate their stupid ballsack crushing pants, their stupid haircuts and the fact that they ruined Wayfarer sunglasses for the rest of us. The thing i hate most about hipsters though is their use of Instagram. A current trend on the internet is to take some shitty hipster photo with “meaningful” words and write something logical over it.
Despite my hate of hipsters, I understand that they are not the only users of Instagram. In fact, I use Instagram because of how easy it is to post and share to other sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Actually, if I’m drunk at the time of uploading, I might even put a stupid 1960’s filter on my image.
Instagram doesn’t care about your photos
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, comes 3 months after Facebook completed its acquisition of the photo sharing site and which takes effect on January 16. It states that 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.
Whilst it is true that all you need is a smartphone and an Instagram account to become a professional photographer, I doubt very much that Instagram cares about your photos of your dog, your cat or a bridge to use your photos for anything.
That said, I struggle to comprehend how a company feels like it owns the rights to something just because it was published on their service. Does Amazon or Google Books own the rights to the entire Harry Potter series, the Hunger Games or hipster favourite, Twilight because they have the e-books on their service?
The best part of this whole policy change however is the bit where it immunises itself it from liability and class action lawsuits. The language stresses, twice in the same paragraph, that “we will not be liable for any use or disclosure of content” and “Instagram will not be liable for any use or disclosure of any content you provide.”
I’ve been thinking long and hard about this and have decided to write my own liability release using big lawyer speak… “Upon being allowed entry into noted banking institution, the aforementioned party will not be held liable for any actions or consequences that may occur. The banking institution holds no right take legal action or seek monetary compensation for any losses incurred.”
I know that America is the most litigious country in the world and you can be taken to court for anything apart from owning a handgun but where are we going to end up?
With this policy change at Instagram, the hipsters of the world need to unite as one and fight the man. I doubt that they will though, they will probably just write some shit on a rock, photograph it and put a crap filter on it.
Me? I’m going to rob a bank.
Update: Since i posted this earlier Instagram have responded with this.