TwitPic, one of the most popular image hosting services that many users use alongside Twitter, recently changed its terms of service in probably the most horrible way possible: they now have rights to use and re-use the photos that you upload.
That’s right – if you’re out at a bar snapping photos of your friends and your drinks, you might presume that you have some control over the photos and how they’re used because you took them, right? Not if you upload them to TwitPic.
If you’ve noticed some of your friends veering away from the service, this would be why. It’s a bigger shame because TwitPic is one of the image hosting services supported officially by Twitter, which means you’re able to see images from TwitPic in-line at the Twitter web site and in the official clients, not to mention most of the unofficial and third-party ones.
Sadly, a number of TwitPic users have to find a new home if they want to retain ownership and legal right over the content they upload – assuming it’s not already copyrighted by someone else, that is. Here’s the scoop from an article over at ReadWriteWeb:
“To clarify our ToS regarding ownership, you the user retain all copyrights to your photos and videos, it’s your content,” Noah Everett, founder of TwitPic, wrote on the company’s blog. “Our terms state by uploading content to Twitpic you allow us to distribute that content on twitpic.com and our affiliated partners. This is standard among most user-generated content sites (including Twitter). If you delete a photo or video from Twitpic, that content is no longer viewable.”
So to be clear, you don’t give them ownership or complete rights over the content, but you do give them the right to use or re-use the content as they see fit. Which for most people, are enough rights removed that they’ve moved on to another service.