Trade Associations Protest Instagram “Terms of Use” Changes

Posted on 12/21/2012 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The leading trade associations representing professional photographers have sent the following letter to Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram protesting Instagram’s new “terms of use.”
    The undersigned trade associations, representing professional photographers, graphic artists, illustrators, visual journalists, videographers and other content creators and their licensing representatives, have received numerous objections regarding the proposed change to Instagram’s terms of use which provide Instagram with the perpetual right to sell users’ content without payment or notification and further requires the content owner to represent and warrant to Instagram that Instagram’s use will not violate any third party rights, including publicity and privacy rights.

    We are pleased that Instagram is listening to the complaints and we are willing to work with them and review any proposed terms to avoid new terms that are confusing or misleading. For example, it is unreasonable to expect any content creator to have obtained releases from third parties depicted in the content, or to indemnify Instagram for any third party rights for any commercial use of the content.
    To be clear, even if a service states that the content owner retains copyright to content uploaded, the undersigned visual art associations object to terms of use which require users to grant the service provider with broad perpetual rights in the content that exceed the rights necessary for the user to enjoy the service, and in particular any grant of commercial use to either the service provider or any third party which may violate third party publicity rights. Instagram and Facebook are platforms for communities to share photographs for personal and professional use. Any grant of rights to commercialize photographs without informed consent of the creator and/or payment violates the norms of this community, including the rights of photographers, artists and their licensing representatives under our copyright system, as well as the rights of third parties.
For information, contact:
ASMP:   Eugene Mopsik,, 215 451 2767 x201
PPA:   Angela Wijesinghe, njvwrfvatur@ccn.pbz, 404 522 8600 x226
NPPA:   Mickey H. Osterreicher, Esq.,, 716 983 7800
PACA:   Cathy Aron,, 714 815 8427
APA:   Stephen Best, prb@ncnangvbany.pbz, 818 613 4901
GAG:   Tricia McKiernan,, 212 791 3400

Copyright © 2012 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:  


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.