Twitpic: News-worthy photos will be sold by us

Posted by & filed under Misc, Technology.

Oh, how lovely! TwitPic found a way to monetize their free storage by selling users’ pics to news organizations (by partnering with WENN). And you, author of the photo, while retaining copyright, will not see a single penny.

Specifically in updated TwitPic terms and conditions (here and forth the emphasis is mine):

To publish another Twitpic user’s content for any commercial purpose or for distribution beyond the acceptable Twitter “retweet” which links back to the original user’s content page on Twitpic, whether online, in print publication, television, or any other format, you are required to obtain permission from Twitpic in advance of said usage and attribute credit to Twitpic as the source where you have obtained the content.

So, according to these terms just getting a permission of the actual author is not enough. You now have to also get one from Twitpic. And thanks to the automatic granting of the license to affiliates as per the following paragraph:

You retain all ownership rights to Content uploaded to Twitpic. However, by submitting Content to Twitpic, you hereby grant Twitpic a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and Twitpic’s (and its successors’ and affiliates’) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.

you have given them the right to sell that cool shuttle launch photo to the news agency. And if someone dares to use the sold photo without prior Twitpic (and/or WENN) permission they will probably be sued. Not that you’ll get any of the monetary compensation anyways.

In contrast, yfrog/ImageShack’s terms of service seem to be very clear and quite fair:

ImageShack will not sell or distribute your content to third parties or affiliates without your permission. Third parties may exercise the following options regarding your content:
– Third parties may hyperlink to the page that displays your content on the ImageShack Network without modification and with proper attribution to you.
– Third parties may request permission to use your content by contacting you directly.
All requests for permission regarding your content usage directed at ImageShack will be forwarded to you. …

Time to switch from Twitpic to Yfrog.

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