Instagram announced today that it is dramatically changing its policy to allow itself the right to sale photos posted on its service by its users , without their permission or payment to them, to companies to be used for commercial purposes.
The announcement garnered an instant public backlash with some saying that the policy shift is akin to company suicide by the Facebook-owned company as analysts forecast a flood of disabled accounts by the mid-January deadline.
Users who do not delete their accounts by Jan. 16 will not be able to opt out and will, by default, relinquish their intellectual rights of their content to the service for commercial use.
Under the new policy, Facebook claims the perpetual right to license all publicInstagram 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…except they won’t have to pay you anything to use your images.”
And the legalese in their new policy is so broad that it essentially protects Instagram from litigation from users who stay on the service.
Another unusual addition to Instagram‘s new policy appears to immunize it from liability, such as class action lawsuits, if it makes supposedly private photos public. The language stresses, twice in the same paragraph, that “we will not be liable for any use or disclosure of content” and “Instagram will not be liable for any use or disclosure of any content you provide.”