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Author Topic: Licenses in TOS of social networks  (Read 413 times)

MichaelEzra

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Licenses in TOS of social networks
« on: February 13, 2017, 08:29:59 AM »

I've been looking at using social networks for promoting my work. Their terms of service state license requirements such as this:

twitter : "By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed). This license authorizes us to make your Content available to the rest of the world and to let others do the same..."

instagram : "...a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, subject to the Service's Privacy Policy..."

Does this let the licensee sub-license Content for advertising purposes?

I am curious whether such terms are generally overlooked by the participating pro photographers?
Does this make business sense for us, the image makers?
Do you find that the trade off in giving such license in exchange of building a social network is worth it for your business?

BartvanderWolf

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Re: Licenses in TOS of social networks
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2017, 09:44:09 AM »

I've been looking at using social networks for promoting my work. Their terms of service state license requirements such as this:

twitter : "By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed). This license authorizes us to make your Content available to the rest of the world and to let others do the same..."

instagram : "...a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, subject to the Service's Privacy Policy..."

Does this let the licensee sub-license Content for advertising purposes?

I am curious whether such terms are generally overlooked by the participating pro photographers?
Does this make business sense for us, the image makers?
Do you find that the trade off in giving such license in exchange of building a social network is worth it for your business?

Hi Michael,

Good question, that more people ought to ask themselves. I'd urge everybody to see a documentary called: "Terms and conditions may apply". It may open some eyes for those who have not been paying attention. Here is an interview with the maker.

How much of one's rights one is willing to give away is an individual matter, but you may want to be careful with how far you go. Once given it's lost forever.

Of course, the initial (innocent) goal of those companies is to prevent lawsuits for even having and multiplying your material/information on their servers. But then you lose control over it and they start capitalizing on it without reimbursing you for anything.

Whether there is any benefit to promoting your material versus no (or less) exposure, is up to the individual, but IMHO one is better off getting one's own website organized than squandering one's rights. Also don't forget that social media also take a lot of time to use effectively, time that could also be spent on one's own website and more targeted promotion.

Cheers,
Bart
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AnthonyM

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Re: Licenses in TOS of social networks
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2017, 12:37:35 PM »

Instagram needs the licence in order to run its services without being in breach of the user's copyright.  After all, the whole point of using such services is to share.  The user has some control who can see his content through the privacy settings.

Instagram's Privacy Policy restricts its use of user content.  Specifically, paragraph 3 of the Privacy Policy states that they will not rent or sell your content outside the Instagram group except in the very limited circumstances stated. https://help.instagram.com/155833707900388

It is up to the user to decide whether the protections are sufficient, and to weigh up the benefits of reaching a wider audience against the risks of copying.  Presumably an additional line of defence would be to post at the minimum resolution which produces a reasonable quality Instagram image, so that even if an image is copied it will not be very useful to the infringer.
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ericbowles

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Re: Licenses in TOS of social networks
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2017, 09:56:37 AM »

Those terms are pretty typical.  These companies want to be able to have people share content without limitation.  They are also using images in ads some of the time, which is a little borderline.

I figure its a reasonable tradeoff, and I make a lot more money from using these services than giving them up.  Just size images appropriately for the web, use a watermark, and file your copyright registration.
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Eric Bowles
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David Eichler

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Re: Licenses in TOS of social networks
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2017, 12:35:37 PM »

Those terms are pretty typical.  These companies want to be able to have people share content without limitation.  They are also using images in ads some of the time, which is a little borderline.

I figure its a reasonable tradeoff, and I make a lot more money from using these services than giving them up.  Just size images appropriately for the web, use a watermark, and file your copyright registration.

The problem for some who do commercial photography is that some clients who want to use the photos on social media resist using a watermark and then paying an appropriate fee for such usage.
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ericbowles

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Re: Licenses in TOS of social networks
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2017, 01:13:24 PM »

Client use can be a challenge.  I typically try to anticipate that use and build it in on the front end.  I supply web sized photos at a cost or for free with a certain amount purchased.  For example, I sell packages that include a free web sized photo with purchase of 8x10 prints or larger.  About 50% take advantage of that option.

The other thing I do is register my copyright for my images.  Once a quarter I register all my images as unpublished.  This eliminates the need to separately track social media posts which constitutes publication - and the images fall under the 90 day rule.  This entitles me to statutory damages for someone using the image and makes claims pretty straight forward as there is really no defense.  Removing the copyright notice is potentially a $2500 violation.

For many clients, use of images on social media works to promote me and my business.  It builds word of mouth.  The key is just getting paid for it or making sure there is value.
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Eric Bowles
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