Y'all I fucked up. I went outside of the terms of service of a social media platform. I did it unknowingly. I got called out and immediately deleted the post. Terms of service, how many of you actually read them in detail before you accept the terms?
Yeah I didn't think that very many of you did. I am here to tell you that you should at least give those good ol' terms and conditions a once over or at least Google the Cliffs Notes version of them after you accept them.
All of this brings up the question, who legally owns your photos on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest? Let's get educated, shall we?
The answer from Instagram, “People in the Instagram community own their photos, period. On the platform, if someone feels that their copyright has been violated, they can report it to us and we will take appropriate action. Off the platform, content owners can enforce their legal rights.”
Ok that makes sense, Instagram has your back by what anyone does with your photo on Instagram, offline you are on your own. But did you know that reposting is actually in violation of Instagram Terms? Yeah I didn't know that either, but given the platform and how it works, a majority of users are cool with you reposting as long as you are linking back to their account. However, always ask before assuming that it's alright. This is what the terms of service statement says,
Ok cool that's Instagram terms, now let's talk Facebook. Does Facebook own your photos once you load them onto your account? No, the photos are still your photos, not Facebooks. In fact, it’s right in Facebook’s terms of service: “You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook.“ However, let's address what rights Facebook does have with your photos once you've uploaded them.
You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:
- 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.
- When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others).
Basically, Facebook can use your photo "royalty free" however they feel without asking for your permission or paying you any money they may get from using your photo.
Great, we've got the big two out of the way now let's focus on Pinterest. Are you using photos from Pinterest as almost a form of a stock photography site? Do you think that just because it's on Pinterest you can borrow it? Well here's the deal unless you are repinning it, that content needs to live on Pinterest. If you do this it's considered copyright infringement. Yeah, buzz kill huh?
Here's what Pinterest actually says,
"If you post your content on Pinterest, it still belongs to you but we can show it to people and others can re-pin it." You can refresh yourself with Pinterest's Terms and Conditions here.
In conclusion, is it okay to repin images on Pinterest? Maybe. Is it ok to repost on Instagram? Sometimes. Using other peoples photos on the internet these days is tricky business. All you can do is refresh yourself with the particular terms of service. How are you feeling about all of this information, are you going to go back and read the terms and conditions?