If I took a LoFi poll right now asking if readers fully read the Terms of Service when joining any type of photo social website or service, I’d bet good money that it would skew somewhere around 90% = No. We all do it… just scroll to the bottom and hit “Agree” without reading them. Reading Term of Service is a great sedative. I can last nearly two pages with some of the really engaging stuff, and that’s only because I took a year of Legalese in college.

But as creatives and photographers, what legal rights are we clicking away when we blindly accept terms of service? At what point do we lose control over our creations? Glenn Fleishman over at boingboing recently posted an excellent story that analyzes and digests the copyright sections of Terms of Service of many of the major photo sharing services.

Glenn Fleishman writes:

The question at stake here isn’t whether we trust TwitPic or other services or not to explain their intent. The intent is in the contract we agree to when we upload our images. If push comes to shove, that’s where those firms’ lawyers point, and that’s where we lose. I’ve always said in negotiating contracts, “I trust you, or I wouldn’t sign a contract with you. But I’m also signing a contract with the person who replaces you in your job, or the company that buys you. It’s them I’m worried about.”

Click to read the entire post, “All Your Pics Are Belong to Us: at image hosting services, Terms and Conditions always apply,” on boingboing. If you share your photos online, it’s an essential read.


Thanks to iPhoneographer Dutch Doscher for the heads up on this great link.