Photos, Rights and Social Networking Rights !

PUBLISHED May 31st, 2015

Let’s discuss how our pictures are being used on social sites.

We all use many social networking sites for sharing our photos. But do you know most of these sites are taking away your rights. But we do post our precious pictures in sake of likes and shares without noticing how our rights are being stolen. Lets see what most of the sites are doing.


Facebook says about the content we upload that :

For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (“IP content”), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (“IP License”). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

In short it says Facebook can do whatever it wants to do with our content unless we delete it but we use many apps and it may get shared so it may be impossible to actually delete our content. As whenever you upload your content you do agree the above written statement. You yourself give them a license (see the bold text above). Its sub-licensable too so they can even change your license (which you are granting them unwillingly). But user can access them free of charge.


Twitter says :

By submitting, posting, or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive , royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such content in any and all media or distribution methods….

This license is authorizing us to make your Tweets available to the rest of the world and to let others do the same. But what’s yours is yours – you own your content.

The Terms of Service go on to state that Twitter has the right to sub-license to other companies and inpiduals who partner with Twitter.

Same again… They too can do anything. Even more problematic, even sell them. Even if they say “what’s yours is yours” we also accept to “We can sell your content”.

Google Plus

Google plus has such service terms that no user easily get caught into their “circle” Philosophy but due to their other connected services like Gmail, Youtube and Android etc, We get connected to it. But its terms are favorable.

Google says:

The set of terms when it comes to user’s content, restricting its use of such content only for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones.

Hence use of our content on Google plus is limited hence uploading our content we are relaxed that our pictures belongs to us only, at least google can’t sell them.


Instagram is really playing with us.

According to Instagram’s own Terms of Use, you own your photos and videos. But buried in Instagram’s privacy policy is an otherwise innocuous line that could protect their controversial actions.

Once you have shared User Content or made it public, that User Content may be re-shared by others.

About the terms and conditions, First they say

To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions,without any compensation to you. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf.

That means on uploading the pics you agree that Instagram can sell your pics without giving you a penny and if you are under 18, you agree that the above conditions are agreed by the parents.

They Also said:

Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead,you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, subject to the Service’s Privacy Policy. . .

This means that Instagram can still sub-license your photos to any company for a fee without again, giving you a penny !

And now the worst part,

“you agree to pay for all royalties, fees, and any other monies owed by reason of Content you post on or through the Service.”

That simply means If your pictures are sold to a company by Instagram and the company got sued, you are liable for your content and the money for the company had bought your own pictures from Instagram.


Its the best, Our pictures remains Ours,

They say:

use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display such Content on the Yahoo! Services solely for the purpose for which such Content was submitted or made available.

This grants Flickr the right to provide the Flickr service, i.e. create the small, medium, and large sizes, display your photos on the site, etc. It doesn’t mean that we own them. When you upload your photos to Flickr, you retain the rights to your images. For the licenses, they let we decide the type of license we want to apply for our photos. It’s “All rights reserved” by default or you can also use Creative Commons licenses for public domain use. It’s up to you.

You know the one more thing is that they will offer you 1 TB space !!!


It’s an another image sharing service but its useful for open and public domain artists. Its says that whatever we (the user) upload, we keep the copyright and it’s always ours. What we accept is that we grant the users of Deviantart to make a remix version of our art and can distribute that modified version. It’s not so dangerous as we keep the original version, and the modified version becomes the other user’s copyright hence its good but there are many people including me who will take their arts as intellectual properties and won’t like to allow others to remix it.


I also appreciate Google Plus and Deviantart but Flickr is the ideal photo sharing hub.

I am still on Instagram, but for a reason, I recently deleted all my pics and uploaded this (Click on me) on Instagram, ended it and joined Flickr.

Flickr is better photo sharing than Instagram

Please share this message to more and more people so that together we can protect our and others rights, may Instagram think again for us. You do it by sharing this image and by following me on Instagram, I have only this, a single picture on the great instagram.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, neither I am promoting one product over other, I am just presenting my views and opinions about the use our content on internet and to create awareness towards those policies. I am not responsible for any loss or if any change in these policies occur in future.

Thank you for reading (c) Shubham Ramdeo.

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© Shubham Ramdeo, 2020
you are really awesome!