Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Instagram re-use of photos could violate rights of people photographed; competitors jump in


There has occurred a recent flap, as Instagram, recently bought by Facebook, apparently has instituted a policy that requires posters to give consent to Instagram’s subsequent reuse of their photos for commercial purposes.

Other photo services, like Picasa as a part of Google, allow users to keep total intellectual property ownership of photos.  It would seem that Instagram and Facebook will probably have to change in this regard.

One obvious problem is that if someone else’s picture is taken and then reused by Instagram, that could result in a violation of that third person’s right of publicity or sometimes a misappropriation of that person’s privacy rights.  Instagram is complicating an already escalating problem with photos of people which could sometimes affect their online reputations, as has been pointed out on Anderson recently but has gotten little legal traction so far.

The Washington Post has a story by Craig Timberg, link here.

And the CNET story by Declan McCullagh points out the possible effect on photo subjects who did not give consent. 

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