Instagram’s updated terms are even worse

Starting January 19th all your photos rights will be taken over by Instagram

If you thought Instagram’s new terms introduced in December 2012 were awful, their update today is even worse.

We’ve all been waiting to see what Instagram would do with their promised new terms. You’d think Instagram would have released a nicer set of terms after their fiasco in December. But no, Instagram went ten times worse. They’ve added NEW sections. The did a great job summarizing the changes:

  • Instagram may continue to reuse your content in an extremely broad way, even if you delete your account. Basically, your material “may persist and appear within the Service” forever. (Basic Terms, Section 17)
  • You assume all liability for any use of the photos or metadata in the photos within their service now and in the future. You explicitly agree to pay their lawyers at their request if they ever get sued by anyone in conjunction to any right of privacy or other right arising out of the use of your photos. Which you have no control over. (The Indemnification section)
  • They can modify the service at any point in the future with no notice and liability to you. (General Conditions, Section 1)
  • You agree that they may update the terms of service in the future, and you agree that you will abide by those new changes. All they have to do to create new terms is to post them on the website, with no further notice required. You do not seem to have the right to remove existing material no matter how much you might disagree with the new terms. (General Conditions, Section 3)
  • The rights you grant to Instagram for your photos and all information they can acquire about those photos is now “transferable, sub-licensable”, with limitation only by the Privacy Policy. (Which you also agree can be changed at their discretion and you will agree to the changes).
  • You agree to never join a class action suit against them, and that any dispute will be resolved by arbitration. (Note that arbitration is traditionally understood to be a very unfriendly place for any kind of customer redress. Basically it’s the place where complaints go to die.)

Read more of dambook’s analysis.

I think someone at Facebook wants Instagram to die. Seriously. This is just ridiculous. I stopped using Instagram in December. But since I’m a digital hoarder archivist, I don’t like deleting accounts. I was going to simply let my Instagram account sit there, as is. But now that Facebook added all these extra terms, there is ABSOLUTELY no way I’m going to let Facebook have that sort of ownership and access and ability. It’s seriously like something from a communist regime. I’m even thinking about leaving facebook.

I will be definitely deleting my Instagram account. But first I’m gonna archive all the comments and favs on my photos. Yeah, that digital archivist part of me wants a record of all that stuff. The methods I use to backup this information will be documented in upcoming blog posts.

Curious about what else I think about Instagram? Check out all my posts tagged Instagram.

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8 years ago

Gah! I have two days to delete my instagram account before instagram forever owns my 630 photos!

8 years ago

Instagram’s own words, “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”

Those sound like super mega atomic bomb words.

8 years ago

Do you think this type of all-inclusive gobbledegook would really hold up in court?

8 years ago
Reply to  Julia

Hmm, I don’t know. I know next-to-nothing about law. But it seems like Instagram (with Facebook lawyers) would be able to get away with it. People accept the terms. Who’s gonna challenge?

8 years ago

Whaaaaat?! I think this is a case where the lawyers have gotten in the way of common sense.

8 years ago
Reply to  KW

Yeah, it makes me sad that people continue to use instagram when instagram is so in violation of photo rights. Besides, flickr is by far and away the best photo service.


[…] of terms and conditions. They backtracked and said they’ll make the terms better, but then Facebook went ahead and made the terms even worse for Instagram. Yet people continue to stupidly use the service, giving forever usage rights to Facebook to use […]


[…] It’s sad to see Facebook getting eternal rights to 40 million personal photos. Remember, Facebook/Instagram doesn’t claim ownership of the photos, but they do claim forever rights, even after you delete the image from their service. (Instagram

Matt Maldre
7 years ago

Hey, guess what! Facebook make their terms and conditions worse too! Now they can use any of your images, or status updates in ads.
A great blog post that explains this:

Yuuuuup. Facebook might be next on my chopping block.

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