Social Media Landmines For Photographers

Posted on 5/21/2015 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Posting images on Social Media sites can be a dangerous thing. What rights are you giving away? Can someone else use your image without your knowledge? Can they earn revenue from your image without sharing any of it with you? If someone else mis-uses your image are you legally liable?

All these things are usually spelled out in the Terms of Service of most sites, but who takes the time to carefully examine those document that are usually thousands of words of legal jargon long?

The information on the home page, or in the promotion, of most sites is designed to make you feel like they will love, care and help you. The language the lawyers put in the TOS is designed to protect and maximize the profits of their bosses, not you.

Jain Lemos, former Executive Director of ASPP (American Society of Picture Professionals), has taken the time to go through the TOS documents of the major social media sites and has summarized the important points for photographers to consider in “Social Media Sites Terms of Use.” Please note that this document was prepared on April 15, 2015. Most sites are constantly updating their TOS so don’t assume the information is totally accurate as of today.

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Copyright © 2015 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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