Photo sharing site Instagram has retreated from a plan to sell users’ photos to businesses without their consent or having to pay any royalties.
Instagram, which has amassed a 30 million following, is now facing widespread backlash as users question if they can trust the service and subsequently close their accounts.
The company planned on amending their terms and conditions to permit them to sell users’ personal photos to without their consent.
The clauses that sparked controversy were:
“You hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide licence to use the content that you post.
“You agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos, and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”
Disappointed Instagram users began boycotting the service and vented their frustrations.
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Instagram Co-founder Kevin Systrom responded in a blogpost claiming “it is not our intention to sell your photos.” Rather, Systrom alleges the site’s intentions weren’t adequately represented by the terms and conditions.
“Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising.
“Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation.”
Systrom added the company is “working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.”