Like many people out there, I rarely read Terms and Conditions statements. I probably owe my Kidney to Apple as I’ve never read their terms and conditions. However, due to the recent outcry from Instagram users, I thought it’s worth giving it a quick read.
“Instagram does NOT claim ANY ownership rights in the text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, musical works, works of authorship, applications, or any other materials (collectively, “Content”) that you post on or through the Instagram Services. By displaying or publishing (“posting”) any Content on or through the Instagram Services, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels, except Content not shared publicly (“private”) will not be distributed outside the Instagram Services.” - Proprietary Rights in Content on Instagram
Based on this statement, Instagram can sell your images and take 100% of the profits from this sale without even letting you know about it. It is quite upsetting to think that someone else has made profit from an image that you created; however you must ask yourself this question:
“Why are you uploading it to Instagram?”
Users who simply want to upload and share random photos with friends and family have nothing to worry about. They can simply set their accounts to “Private” and then they have nothing to fear as this content will not be sold and will still be shared amongst family and friends that you approve.
If you are posting on Instagram to gain a following, then Instagram has allowed you a free way of marketing yourself and giving you more exposure for the work you do!
If Instagram sells one of your images and makes money off of it, I’m sure in the scope of things, that’s still saved you money on marketing as this platform can allow you to push your name out worldwide if you have the correct image and correct hash tags.
If you are still in an uproar with regards to Instagram selling your pictures, then as before, you can set your account to private and this will not affect you at all, or you can simply watermark any images that you do not want sold as I’m sure the watermark will deter it from a buyer.
Otherwise your only option is to remove your account. However, before you remove your account, it’s probably worth knowing that Instagram has over 1 billion images hosted and 5 million added each day. The likelihood one of your images will be sold is very unlikely, and even if it does get sold, I can’t imagine much being paid for a low-res, square cropped version of it.
“I really loved Instagram :-( I need to review this new policy. I don’t think its fair.” – Kim Kardashian
For a celebrity of her stature, I can definitely understand why Instagram would potentially target her account for sale.
I personally will not be deleting my account as any images I have uploaded to Instagram will be a low-res and cropped. Frankly, I will be shocked if one did get sold. If I ever found out one of my images got sold, then I have the full res, un-cropped version of it and I’ll be encouraged to try and push that for sale!
Most likely, the only commercial use for one of my images that I can think of would be to place them into a coffee table style book, and Instagram are simply planning on coming out with yearly anthologies with the “best-of” Instagram images. If they did that and I was chosen, I would be more honoured than offended.
But for any celebrity, such as Kim Kardashian, I can imagine the consequences being much more severe.