Instagram apologized to its users today, saying it will "remove" language from its legal terms that would have let it sell users' photos or use them in advertisements.I was about to consider myself if I would continue using Instagram. Basically loathe to deactivate any usage of social networking sites, but for the right reason such as this it would be worth it. Enough people revolted where it was known it would be a problem.
In a blog post this afternoon, Chief Executive Kevin Systrom said it's "our mistake that this language is confusing" and that the company is "working on updated language."
"Since making these changes, we've heard loud and clear that many users are confused and upset about what the changes mean," he wrote.
No other photo-sharing service appears to have had a policy as broad as Instagram's now-abandoned language, which claimed the perpetual right to license users' 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. A hotel in Hawaii, for instance, could have written a check to Instagram to license photos taken at its resort and then use them for its own purposes.
Another pitfall of the now-abandoned policy: If Instagram users continued to upload photos after January 16, 2013, and subsequently deleted their account afterward, they may have granted Facebook an irrevocable right to sell those images in perpetuity. There's no obvious language that says deleting an account terminates Facebook's rights, said Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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