It goes a little something like this. Facebook buys Instagram. Poof! There go your rights to all your art. Seriously? Are we entitled to anything anymore?
Here’s what the terms state and what it means for you. Basically, Instagram owns your images. Any other business or entity may pay Instagram for the use of user images, “and may do so without any compensation to you.” Bullshit. Instagram users are in a sense, photographers. Every photographer should own the right to his or her photos. Who does Instagram think they are?
They state the only way to opt out is to delete your account. So be it. On to the next one.
I have a feeling that Instagram will be losing a lot of users very quickly. As an avid user myself, I am very disappointed by these new terms. I love Instagram. I love going about my day and coming across an interesting setting where I think right away, Instagram! It’s become infused into my daily life. But now, I’ll have to think twice about it. These photos are for me. For my friends, and for my family. Why do you feel the need to steal MY images, along with millions of other users, for your benefit?
This all brings me back to this one point I seem to be coming back to a lot lately. Technology. Technology sucks. Sure, technology helps us in a lot of ways, but with it, we also lose a lot of things- mainly our privacy. Everything is digital. Everything is online. Everything can instantly appear right before your eyes with the press of a few buttons. I personally miss the days where photos existed in photo albums in a box under the bed. Where people had to dust off the cover and actually be there to look through the pictures. They existed in one place only. And you controlled who saw them. You owned them.
Now, your pictures are everywhere. A photo that you take in your bedroom can end up on a screen in someone’s office in South Africa. Someone you don’t even know! Everything, and I mean everything, is way too accessible today. I don’t think people realize just how creepy it is that once something enters the digital realm, it’s there forever and you have no control over who sees it. You pretty much don’t even own it anymore.
I mean think about it. You go out on a Friday night with some friends. You have a few drinks, take a few pictures. Immediately, you upload them to your Facebook or Instagram to share with all your friends. But do you ever really stop to think about where that photo can end up? People all the way across the world can see that photo. I’m not talking about your grandmother or uncle in Greece. I’m talking about complete strangers. Complete strangers can gain access to your photo and see what YOU were doing Friday night at a bar in New York City. Is that really necessary? You’re basically sending your photo out into the world and telling ANYBODY, “Here, look at me. Manipulate me.” It’s just not right.
And now Instagram just decides to claim ownership of your work. I, myself, work in the Advertising business. I can see how something like this can greatly benefit the ad industry by creating a huge pool of stock images for content. But even I don’t like it. Business is one thing. But Instagram- our photos of our moms, our dads, our friends, our children, our pets. Those are personal. And Nobody should have to the right to those, but us.
Am I surprised instagram created these new terms? Absolutely not. It was bound to happen. I’m actually surprised they waited this long to make it happen.
But Instagram, I will leave you with this. If you really want to steal my photos of my dog and make him famous, then be my guest. Just keep it classy. He’s an aristocrat.