If you've been on Tumblr recently, you've probably noticed that the company has updated its Terms of Service. Well, what I've noticed is that when social media sites change or propose a change of their Terms of Service, people generally tend to freak out. Nothing short of some mild internet chaos broke out when Instagram announced new Terms in late 2012, as indicated by mass deletions of accounts (think: a reported 25 percent decrease in users in under a week in late December 2012). Last week, Tumblr published a draft revision to its terms and policies before it updated them on the site. According to a statement released by the company, the updates mark the first time in two years that the service will be updating its terms of service. It will also be the first time it has made any changes since being acquired by Yahoo last year. However unlike Instagram's edits, which initially included controversial terms that gave Instagram the right to use members' images in ads without compensating them, Tumblr's new Terms are highly uncontroversial. Essentially, the new Terms are aiming to up its intellectual property protections.
The Terms address trademark law and publicity rights: "Don't do things that would cause confusion between you or your blog and a person or company, like registering a deliberately confusing URL. Don't impersonate anyone. While you're free to ridicule, parody, or marvel at the alien beauty of Benedict Cumberbatch, you can't pretend to actually be Benedict Cumberbatch." Most of you probably know by now that confusion is a key element in trademark infringement. (More about that here). They also mention copyrights, without actually mentioning copyrights: "Make sure you always give proper attribution and include full links back to original sources." Another note on impersonation: "If you want to parody or ridicule a public figure (and who doesn't?), don't try to trick readers into thinking you are actually that public figure." Seems pretty straight forward.
The new Terms also cover the obvious don'ts like stalking, harassing, and posting private information, like others' credit card information and "private photos of your ex's junk (no matter how attractive). (no matter how remarkable)."
If Tumblr's Terms of Service have thoroughly piqued your interest, you can read all of the changes right here. Be sure to share any awesome excerpts you find in the comments sections below and if you like models, check out our Tumblr account right HERE!