Instagram User Agreement

In late 2012 Instagram introduced a new user agreement that hinted they have the right to use and sell images posted on their service. The internet (blogosphere, twittersphere) reacted with its predictable mix of apoplexy and righteous indignation. And my knee jerk reaction, I must admit, kind of fell in line. However, after I thought about it for a moment, I realized I was wrong.

Instagram, and for their parts – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, Pinterest, YouTube, MySpace, etc., etc., etc., provide a service to you, the internet user. They provide that service for free. And you gladly use that service for free. Why shouldn’t they get something from you, in exchange for that service?

No one minds a bit when photos of “People of Walmart” or “Christmas Family Portraits Gone Wrong” make the rounds of the FailBlogs and other FREE websites. The people in those photos are surely not being compensated. And what makes the average internet user think that photo of her with her incredibly average looking kid and whatever slop she’s having for dinner is worthy of worry? I’ve seen very few photos on social media that made me think “wow, I bet I could sell that.”

And let’s look at something else. When the likes of Napster and BitTorrent were allowing for the free download (i.e. stealing) of music and movies, these same tweeters and bloggers didn’t say a peep. But now when the services want to get a little of theirs back, all of a sudden it’s about privacy and rights of ownership? Blow it out your ear.

Get over yourselves, people. You’re using a FREE service to communicate with all your friends and show off all your new tattoos and your demon spawn. No one cares. If Facebook or Instagram can make a buck off it, more power to them. If you don’t want them to make a buck off it, don’t post it.