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Instagram BACKS DOWN from stupid (IMHO) position on photographs!

“The users are revolting!”

“Heck, you should meet the MANAGEMENT!” 😉

And remember, Instagram = Facebook!

According to CNETNews:

Instagram said today that it has the perpetual right to sell users’ photographs without payment or notification, a dramatic policy shift that quickly sparked a public outcry.

The new intellectual property policy, which takes effect on January 16, comes three months after Facebook completed its acquisition of the popular photo-sharing site. Unless Instagram users delete their accounts before the January deadline, they cannot opt out.

Under the new policy, Facebook claims the perpetual right to license all public Instagram 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. One irked Twitter user quipped that “Instagram is now the new iStockPhoto, except they won’t have to pay you anything to use your images.”

“It’s asking people to agree to unspecified future commercial use of their photos,” says Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “That makes it challenging for someone to give informed consent to that deal.”

As you might imagine, such policies cause photographers like me to bare their teeth. 😉 Such policies also make me wonder whether Facebook is, in fact, as clueless as it seems!

That means that a hotel in Hawaii, for instance, could write a check to Facebook to license photos taken at its resort and use them on its Web site, in TV ads, in glossy brochures, and so on — without paying any money to the Instagram user who took the photo. The language would include not only photos of picturesque sunsets on Waikiki, but also images of young children frolicking on the beach, a result that parents might not expect, and which could trigger state privacy laws.

Fortunately, the <IMHO> utterly stupid position raised the hackles on MANY Instagram users beside the photographers! As CNET notes in an article posted at 2:50 p.m. today, Instagram BACKED DOWN! In some related articles today, Instagram rivals tried the lure users after the photo rights flap, instructions on how to back up your Instagram photos and delete your account were given, Instagram reminded us that we are the product for sale, an author described the situation as “Amateur hour at Instagram parent Facebook.The last article states:

From the outset, let’s note a couple of points that ought to be abundantly clear to anyone watching the unfolding controversy about the upcoming changes to Instagram’s terms of use.

A) Instagram — and thus by definition, Facebook, the site’s corporate parent — is entirely within its rights to change the terms of use governing how photos uploaded by people using the service get used.

B) Facebook’s management is comprised of incredibly smart folks.

Given that A and B are true, the powers that be who are running the company must either be amazingly tone deaf or crazy as loons.

It’s obviously not the latter, so we’re left with the conclusion that the people at the top, so impressed by the sound of their own voices, have lost touch with the people who helped turn them into gazillionaires — in other words, the users.

MY advice – don’t narrow down your options prematurely! 😉

So… let’s turn back to the Instagram apology and its retraction of the <IMHO> STUPID policy announcment.

SURE! 😉 It was all a big mistake! 😉 (Sure it was.)

In a blog post this afternoon, Chief Executive Kevin Systrom said it’s “our mistake that this language is confusing” and that the company is “working on updated language.”

“Since making these changes, we’ve heard loud and clear that many users are confused and upset about what the changes mean,” he wrote.

The problem seems to be another repetition of history. Just as a group of “whiz kids” made outrageous mistakes in the management of the War in Vietnam, modern-day whiz kids lack the maturity and judgment needed to manage cutting-edge corporations.

Enjoy reading all of the article that sprang up today in the firestorm engendered by the Instagram initial announcement, including this one, on Mashable, which lists five free alternatives to Instagram.

-Bill at

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