Posts Tagged ‘TOS’

Instagram Reveals Usage Stats for First Time: 90M Active Users Per Month

instastats

A couple of days ago, there were murmurings on the web that Instagram experienced a sharp drop in usage numbers following its ill-handled Terms of Service change. The story was based on findings by analytics firm AppStats, which claimed that Instagram’s Daily Active User count had fallen from over 15 million to around 5 million in the span of about one month.

Now Instagram (and its parent company Facebook) are speaking up and denying that it is seeing a max exodus of disgruntled users. The company has released usage figures for the first time in its young life.
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Instagram Takes Step Toward Profitability by Updating Its ToS, Causes Grumbling

Earlier this month, Facebook stated that it’s working on strategies for monetizing Instagram. Now we’re starting to see the gears in the money-making machine warming up.

Instagram announced an update to its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy documents today, with changes that will take effect on January 16, 2013. While it’s understandable that any service’s terms must change if rolls out a new business model, many users aren’t pleased with what some of the updated sections say.
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Facebook Removes Risqué Photograph of Woman Showing an Elbow

Are photo-sharing website content policies based on indecency or the mere appearance of indecency? That’s what visual web magazine Theories of the deep understanding of things decided to test out yesterday. It uploaded an innocent — but seemingly risqué — photo of a woman sitting in a bathtub with her elbow resting on the edge (warning: it looks inappropriate). Lo and behold, the social network quickly took the photo down for violating the service’s terms.
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You Don’t Own Anything Anymore: Copyright Law in an Internet Age

John Herrman over at BuzzFeed has written up an interesting piece on how and why “grabby” terms of service have become ubiquitous in the online world of social media:

In a world where sharing a photo is strictly a matter of getting another copy made and mailing it, or getting it published, copyrights are pretty easy to keep track of and these laws hold up pretty well. Sending a physical photo to your grandmother goes like this: you either put the picture in an envelope and send it, or you get a copy made yourself and send that.

Sending your grandmother an email photo, though, might involve copying your photo five or six times; first to Google’s servers, then to another server, then to an ISP’s CDN, then to AOL’s servers, then to your grandmother’s computer. As far as you’re concerned, this feels exactly like dropping an envelope in the mail. As far as copyright is concerned, it’s a choreographed legal dance.

And so these sites have to get your permission — a license — to copy and distribute the things you post. Just to function as advertised, they need your permission to “use” and to “host,” to “store” and “reproduce.” What they don’t necessarily need is the right to “modify” and “create derivative works,” or to “publicly perform.” That is, unless they need to make money. Which of course they do.

You Don’t Own Anything Anymore (via APhotoEditor)


Image credit: Large copyright graffiti sign on cream colored wall by Horia Varlan

Getty Lawyers Say Google+ Terms Okay

A little update to the recent brouhaha over Google+’s Terms of Service: Tom W of Getty Images posted the above message to fellow Getty members on Flickr informing them that Getty’s lawyers have no problems with the ToS. He writes,

The important thing to watch out for in Terms of Service, and it’s the same as we’ve talked about for contests, is that whatever they do (or allow third parties to do) with the images should be in the context of the service itself, not to re-license or otherwise commercialize the images to other parties (or even the main company itself) outside of the context they’re posted for.

Certain people have argued that uploading your photos to Google+ may hurt your ability in the future to sell exclusive licenses to images. If that’s what you’re worried about, it’s probably safer to keep your photographs off the Internet completely, since every content sharing service on the Internet requires at least a license to display your photos using their service.

(via ReadWriteWeb)

Twitter Photo Rights Controversy is Much Ado About Nothing

Last week Scott Bourne published an article on Photofocus titled, “Photos On Twitter – What You Should Know“. In it, he claimed that Twitter’s terms of service (TOS) forced photographers to give Twitter a license to do whatever they wanted with photos shared through the service. The argument centered around a couple paragraphs found in the document:

By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).

This was used to argue that Twitter owns a license to photos shared through the service. Read more…

MIOPS: Smartphone Controllable High Speed Camera Trigger

MIOPS is a new smartphone-controlled camera trigger that combines all of the features photographers want in a high-speed camera trigger into one convenient device.

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Kodak Loses Marketing Guru, Launches New Photo Sharing Site

Kodak made the surprising announcement today that their Chief Marketing Officer Jeffrey Hayzlett is resigning on May 28th to “pursue personal projects.”

Hayzlett recently authored a book on his experiences with marketing and brand-building, called The Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing?, which he has been actively promoting on a tour and Twitter over the last few months.

Hayzlett, who has been with Kodak since April 2006, is known for his accessible public presence, especially on Twitter. Though Hayzlett was often criticized for his over-sharing, strong persona via social media, he said that sharing his knowledge, especially about his use of social media as a tool, is key to his success in bringing Kodak back into the public eye.

The CMO has more than 21,000 followers, and has used the social media site to engage with customers, sometimes with literally biting exchanges. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Hayzlett said:

“I’ve had in the corporate world my public relations, community relations people walk up to me and say Jeff, I don’t think this is appropriate that you wrote “Bite Me” to this guy. I look at them and I go, well that’s who I am. The guy said something very offensive, he had no right to say it, I’m sorry. They say well please be nicer, so now I write “Please Bite Me”.

Kodak says Hayzlett will be involved with the company through August as he transitions out.

Even as Hayzlett is leaving, Kodak is sticking to developing its online presence by launching a new photo sharing website, Kodak Moments.

Photos and videos, along with captions, can be uploaded to the interactive community site. Users then tag the photo with a certain emotion. User-submitted photos can be browsed by emotion, and other viewers can tag them with emotions they feel in response. The site also has “Moments,” which are official events by Kodak, such as the Burton US Open, Celebrity Apprentice, and the People’s Choice Awards.

Kodak Interactive Marketing Manager, Mike Mayfield said that images uploaded will be displayed in email newsletters, marketing, Times Square Billboard, and other marketing outlets.

Some photographers may be uneasy with uploading, since the rather broad Terms of Service currently states:

In consideration of acceptance of my submitted photo, video and/or story (“Contribution”) as part of KODAK Moments, I hereby grant Kodak, and others with Kodak’s consent, the right to edit, copy, distribute, publish, display and otherwise use the Contribution for purposes of the KODAK Moments program without attribution, consideration or compensation to me, the photographer, my successors or assigns or any other individual or entity.

Mayfield responded to the concern, saying:

Kodak has great respect for the rights and use of images we receive. Images submitted to the KODAK Moments website will only be used in the context of promoting the KODAK Moments program. The language in the terms of service stating it could be used for any advertising or publicity is an oversight and we are correcting the terms so that language is removed. We have received some wonderful submissions and if we do decide we would like to use those images outside of the KODAK Moments program, we will reach out and obtain permission from the photographer before doing so.

So it sounds like Kodak still has to hash out some legal jargon, but at least they’ll ask your permission before running specific photos in their ads, albeit possibly without attribution.

(via PDN)

News Wire Allegedly Steals Iconic Haiti Photo, Then Sues Photographer

Photojournalist Daniel Morel shot an iconic image of a shocked woman looking out from the rubble moments after last January’s earthquake in Port au Prince, Haiti. Within an hour, Morel jumped on Twitter to share 13 high resolution images he had uploaded on Twitpic. By the next day, the photo of the woman was picked up by Agence France Presse (AFP) and Getty Images, was run on the cover of several publications and websites.

But Morel said he never authorized the news wires to distribute his images. In fact, several of his images were credited to another person, Lisandro Suero of the Dominican Republic, who reportedly has no photographic background. However, Suero tweeted Morel’s images without the photographer’s permission, and claimed copyright as his own:

And so began a legal storm.

Now Morel is being sued by AFP after he sent them cease and desist letters that the agency calls an “antagonistic assertion of rights.”

According to court documents, AFP claims that they did not infringe on Morel’s copyright and is suing Morel for “commercial disparagement,” as well as “demanding exorbitant payment.” AFP says that Twitter’s Terms of Service allowed for them to use, copy and distribute the image, and that Morel did not specify limits on how the photo should be credited.

Morel responded, saying that he was not familiar with Twitter’s TOS, and maintains that the images were stolen from his account without his permission, distributed and sold by the agency, which then “induced” other publications to violate Morel’s copyright. In a counterclaim to the agency’s complaint, Morel’s lawyer, Barbara Hoffman wrote:

To the extent that under the circumstances a specific intent in posting the images on Twitter can be attributed to Mr. Morel given the circumstances, … he posted his images online and advertised them on Twitter in the hopes that his images would span the globe to inform the world of the disaster, and that he would also receive compensation and credit as a professional photographer for breaking news of the earthquake before the news and wire services.

Some publications, including The Wall Street Journal, NBC, and the Associated Press contacted Morel to exchange compensation for his permission to publish. Others did not.

In order to enforce his copyright, Morel sent several cease and desist notices to several publications.

It seems that the case really boils down to the semantics of the Twitter TOS.

What might be worth noting is that the court documents from AFP frequently cite Twitter’s TOS, which mostly regards the text in Tweets, and does not extend to content linked to (otherwise, entire sites’ content might be considered royalty-free). Morel uploaded on TwitPic, which has a separate Terms, and is an entirely separate entity from Twitter.

Media Nation blogger Dan Kennedy posted PDFs of AFP’s complaint against Morel and Morel’s answer.

Whatever the verdict, this suit may change the manner in which photographers and journalists transmit their data via social media, even in difficult emergency situations like post-quake Haiti.

Do you have legal insight, experience with copyright infringement, or any thoughts about social media and the TOS?