People have the right to be upset as this is yet another example of a non-user friendly agreement. The terms are designed to be difficult for the average user to interpret and to be subsequently ignored. The new terms should not be a source of chaos, but at the same time, those who are making light of them are likely the same people who have little understanding of the law and the same people who post those hoax messages on their Facebook pages. So, read a few of my straight-forward clarifications and some of the controversial excerpts below ...
1. Who owns your photos? Copyright law grants rights to those who take original photographs. Thus, YOU own the rights to the photos you take, and Instagram does not contest this. However, by continuing to use Instagram after January 16, you are granting the company a "non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license" which means that you are allowing Instagram to use, modify (delete from/add to), and publicly display your photos on an international scale. Period.
2. What about if your photos are "Private?" It doesn't appear to matter that much. The statement claims that "Content not shared publicly ("private") will not be distributed outside the Instagram Services." Since, some "Instagram Services" explicitly include advertising, your private photos may be fair game, as well. So, whether your photos are public or private, by continuing to use Instagram, you are agreeing to allow the company to use your photos for advertising purposes, over which you are not entitled to notice or compensation of any kind.
3. What if you delete your Instagram after January 16? Based on the language of the statement, users that continue to upload photos after January 16, 2013 and subsequently delete their accounts, appear to grant Instagram an irrevocable right to sell those images. So, keep that in mind.
4. What is Instagram going to use your photos for? Good question! It's not exactly clear, but it will certainly be commercial in nature. Instagram is asking you to consent to unspecified future commercial use of your photos as "the manner, mode and extent of such advertising and promotions are subject to change without specific notice to you."
• "To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you."
• "If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata) on your behalf."
• "You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such."