Legal Web/Tech

Photo Sharing Sites: Terms of Service

Curious about the terms of service on photo sharing websites? This table provides a summary of a more detailed Google spreadsheet.

Site Alexa License Date Notes
Facebook 2 Sublicense
 N.D. License provides for undefined “use” by anyone for content made public
Flickr 74 Limited to Yahoo! Services
11/24/2008 Third party use must be approved by account holder
Google+ 1 Google (and those we work with)  3/1/2012 This license continues even if you stop using the services (for example, for a business listing added to Google Maps)
Imgur 92 Sublicense
 4/10/2012 Unauthorized commercial use prohibited.
Instagram 78 Sublicense
 1/19/2013 Will not sell/rent content without your permission
Lockerz 1675 Sublicense 12/2/2011 License provides for undefined “use by others”
Moby 5,330 No license  5/10/2011 No commercial use w/out permission
Photobucket 182 Sublicense
 9/22/2011 Allows derivative works such as t-shirts by both PB and users
Posterous 1,137 Limited to Posterous  N.D. Does not mention third-party use in TOS
Tumblr 32 Sublicense
 3/22/2012 “Derivative works” limited to sharing content; license continues even if you stop using the service
TwitPic 468 Sublicense
 5/10/2011 Third party use must be approved by account holder
Twitter 10 Sublicense
11/16/2010 Makes your tweets available to the rest of the world
YFrog 1,623 Exclusive  N.D. Will not sell or distribute without your permission

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

2 replies on “Photo Sharing Sites: Terms of Service”

You chart raises a question about FB and the fact they don’t spell out how what “use” means, but do you think this is a real concern?

I agree that it could be worded more specifically, but there’s nothing here that seems to be granting any privileges that would contradict Agence France-Presse (AFP) v. Morel. I think it’s just saying that if you share publicly, be aware that the whole world can see it and FB can’t control it. Still, there’s no copyright issue here, do you think?

I think it’s the same as the warning they give about sharing with others – the IP license ends when you delete content but if you have shared with others, it’s still on the server. Kind of like if you send someone an email. It’s now in their inbox and you can’t delete it.

“You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings.

This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture).”

Would appreciate your further thoughts.

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