Instagram said today that it has the perpetual right to sell users’ photographs without payment or notification. This is a dramatic policy shift that has 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.
This means that a hotel in Hawaii, for instance, could write a check to Facebook to license photos taken at its resort and use them on its website, in TV-ads, in glossy brochures, and so on — without paying any money to the Instagram user who took the photo!
Read more about the new policy here: