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The Guild joins ASMP in Protesting Instagram’s Terms of Use

Posted by Rebecca Blake on August 26, 2013

The Graphic Artists Guild has joined The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), and other photography organizations in protesting Instagram's Terms of Use for image sharing. The organizations believe that few Instagram users understand the rights they are giving away when agreeing to Instagram's terms, specifically Instagram's right to perpetual use of photos and videos, and nearly unlimited right to license images to any and all third parties. Additionally, the terms assert Instagram's right to make users' photos and identity part of their service forever. ASMP has issued "The Instagram Papers," which analyze the Terms of Use and call for the inclusion of a simple right to terminate.


The full text of ASMP's news release on Instagram's terms is below:

PHOTOGRAPHIC COMMUNITY DEEMS INSTAGRAM TERMS TOO FAR-REACHING

Philadelphia, PA…The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), joined by National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), The Digital Media Licensing Association (PACA), American Photographic Artists (APA), This Week in Photography (TWiP), Professional Photographers of America (PPA), Coordination of European Picture Agencies Stock, Press and Heritage (CEPIC), Graphic Artists Guild (GAG) and American Society of Picture Professionals (ASPP), has mounted a campaign to address the far-reaching Terms of Use of the image sharing service Instagram. Since 2010, more than 16 billion images and movies have been uploaded to Instagram. The organizations believe that few of the users who share images on the site understand the rights they are giving away. ASMP has issued "The Instagram Papers," information in the form of essays and analysis about the Terms of Use in which the key issue is that users should have the 'right to terminate' their agreement with Instagram, allowing them to remove permissions for the use of their identities and content at any time. 

Specifically, the Terms of Use give Instagram perpetual use of photos and video as well as the nearly unlimited right to license the images to any and all third parties. And, after granting this broad license to Instagram, users also relinquish the right to terminate the agreement. Once uploaded, they cannot remove their work and their identity from Instagram. Additionally, in the event of litigation regarding a photo or video, it is the account holder who is responsible for attorney and other fees, not Instagram.

Moreover, while Instagram's agreement includes  the right to sublicense images, it specifically excludes the need to ever pay creators, regardless of the way the company may use or sell their work. The photographic community believes strongly that fair compensation for the creators of work is a vital component of a fair agreement. 

According to ASMP Executive Director Eugene Mopsik, “While clearly benefiting Instagram, the rights of imaging professionals and general users stand to be infringed upon in an unprecedented way. We are concerned that not only have Instagram's Terms of Use gone beyond acceptable standards, but also that other social media providers may use these onerous terms as a template for their own agreements." 

Peter Krogh, ASMP's Digital Standards & Practices Chair, said, " As online services become larger repositories of intellectual property, power has shifted away from the user and toward the company provider. Unless changes are made by Instagram, we believe the terms will have a profound and negative impact on imaging professionals, publishers and general users."

In the coming weeks and months ASMP, along with the other listed organizations, will continue to reach out to gain support in addressing these egregious terms before they become the industry standard. 

Contact:
Eugene Mopsik, Executive Director
American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP)
Phone: 215 451 2767
Email: mopsik@asmp.org
www.asmp.org

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