Sorry Twitpic still claims credit for users’ photos

Twitpic has followed in the footsteps of fellow social-networking firms, angering users by quietly changing its terms of service.

Sorry Twitpic still claims credit for users' photos

Users of the Twitter-focused photo hosting site interpreted changes to its terms and conditions as meaning Twitpic was taking control of posted images, in order to sell on the newsworthy ones.

That lead to a backlash on Twitter, with some users saying they would boycott Twitpic – similar to a row sparked two years ago after Facebook changed its terms regarding user content.

In response, Twitpic has again updated its terms to be more clear, according to the site’s founder Noah Everett.

To clarify our ToS regarding ownership, you the user retain all copyrights to your photos and videos, it’s your content

“To clarify our ToS [terms of service] regarding ownership, you the user retain all copyrights to your photos and videos, it’s your content,” he said in a blog post.

He said the terms mean Twitpic is allowed to “distribute” uploaded photos on its own site and its partners’ sites. “This is standard among most user-generated content sites (including Twitter).”

However, Everett noted that the site has been mined by media organisations for photos of breaking news, leading to users’ photos being taken “without permission and misused.”

“As recently as last month, a Twitpic user uploaded newsworthy images of an incident on a plane, and many commercial entities took the image from Twitpic and used it without the user’s permission,” he added.

The new terms mean third-parties must ask Twitpic for permission to use a photo – but don’t require the site to get permission from the user that posted it.

Media organisations must also credit the site as the source, but again, there’s no mention of crediting the user.

The terms say nothing about Twitpic earning any fees despite the service cutting a deal with celebrity news site WENN. The new terms say users “retain all ownership rights to content uploaded to Twitpic,” but the site does claim the right to use any images for “promoting” the service via media outlets.

“To sum everything up, you the user retain all copyrights to your photos/videos and we are very sorry by the confusion our old updated terms of service caused,” Everett added.

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