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TwitPic Will Sell Your Photos, But No Cash For You

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  • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @04:51PM (#36112026)

    One of the deals is with WENN to sell celebrities' pictures, specifically. However, the adjusted ToS does indeed essentially mean they can sell Joe Schmoe's pictures just as well.

    This was my submission with a few more links:
    http://slashdot.org/submission/1575674/TwitPic-to-start-selling-users-pictures [slashdot.org]

    That said... one part of TwitPic dude's blog statement rings very true. A lot of media are simply taking pictures and videos off the interwebs - be that TwitPic and YouTube or quasistevesdomain.com - and publish them in newspapers, in magazine articles, broadcast them on TV, etc.

    If you're lucky they'll add a source:TwitPic / source:YouTube (which of course mean absolutely nothing as it doesn't identify the user at all) / source:quasistevesdomain.com .

    I say "if you're lucky", because if you catch media doing this and try to point out that you retain the copyrights to that picture (not so on TwitPic anymore, not so for ages on YouTube, but certainly so on quasistevesdomain.com ) and would like to talk about their licensing the picture appropriately... oh boy. Unless you already have a lawyer ready that can spell things out for them directly, you're going to hear from their legal department on how you should be *glad* they used your picture/video, how it can bring you exposure, and how you should leverage that exposure to gain business. Just how that business should be gained when the next media company is also just going to use your picture/video is not entirely clear.

    But, then again, I suppose that is very much in line with music / movie downloaders telling artists that they should be happy that they're downloading because it helps spread the word. Or something.

  • by ZipK (1051658) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @05:09PM (#36112204)

    Most sites that accept user content make them the property of the site (Slashdot being a notable exception).

    Not quite. Most sites that accept user content do so under terms that grant the site an irrevocable, perpetual, transferable and sublicensable right to reuse the material. A classic example of this is Amazon's Conditions of Use [amazon.com], which state in part:

    If you do post content or submit material, and unless we indicate otherwise, you grant Amazon a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display such content throughout the world in any media.

    You retain the copyright, and may make additional grants to other parties, but you cannot revoke the grant you made to the initial site.

One picture is worth 128K words.

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