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Instagram Co-Founder: We Respect That Your Photos Are Your Photos. Period.

Given all of this attention surrounding Instagram’s latest Terms of Service update, the company’s co-founder Kevin Systrom, has taken to their official blog to set the facts straight. In a detailed message to concerned users, Systrom points out that they realize artists and hobbyists alike use their service and by no means is Instagram trying to sell off anybody’s work. 

Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos. Nothing about this has changed. We respect that there are creative artists and hobbyists alike that pour their heart into creating beautiful photos, and we respect that your photos are your photos. Period.

I always want you to feel comfortable sharing your photos on Instagram and we will always work hard to foster and respect our community and go out of our way to support its rights.

Along with trying to calm down their users, they are making it clear that instead of selling your work, they will be introducing some type of ad system to somehow gain revenue from people’s usage of their service. He also mentioned they are to release a revised ToS that better clarifies their position on the matter. No, is that so bad?

Okay, folks. Back into our caves we go until next time.

Via: Instagram

  • steadyva

    I love Instagram! Their latest privacy policy just didn’t sit well with me and I had to do to use this software to back up all my Instagram images http://bit.ly/Vbn1y1 in case I’m going to have to close my Instagram account.

  • FortitudineVincimus

    I love seeing all you social media hoes get all tweaked and bent out of shape when social media companies bamboozle you. So many sheep, so many cattle, so many suckas adopting this crap and then start crying when the free services changes direction. bww ha ha ha

  • Okki125

    New Instagram corporate filter: Hair-On-Fire
    Just released new Instagram corporate filter: Retro Backtrack

    Instagram community Developed filter: Still-Frikking-Leaving-You.

  • MrOrange645

    Nothing has changed about that….except the fact that now you say you can sell our photos and violate any expectation of privacy we had. You can say all you want that you don’t intend to sell our photos but if that were the case you would never include that intention so clearly in the TOS.

  • LionStone

    So glad I never started this…

  • Ryan

    I don’t trust them after that. It wasn’t that the policy wasn’t clear. It was that they saw so many of their accounts being closed and they needed to backtrack. In New Orleans, we say they were crawfished out of that one. I think they could still change it in the future and try to sneak it by..

  • That’s cool that they came forward and explained their position. But did they actually correct the ToS? Because I don’t care what their meaning is – I want to know what I’m “signing”.

  • maniacal_laugh

    “Your pictures are your pictures, UNLESS they are of sexy George Costanza. Then they are our pictures, and we will sell them to the highest bidder! Mwahahahhahahahahahaha!!!”

  • InstaGone

  • Illinipoke

    It isn’t a matter of instagram “owning” your images, its a matter of them allowing other companies to do with them as they please. Instagram doesn’t have any desire to OWN the images as they would then be responsible for them if they were illegal in any way. Instagram is giving other companies access to the images for a fee.

    Nothing about this press release says that your image wont end up on a penis enlargement banner ad.

    “, Systrom points out that they realize artists and hobbyists alike use their service and by no means is Instagram trying to sell off anybody’s work.”

    No….. he doesn’t. He danced a pretty dance that stays within the lines of the terms of service.

  • Martin Nilsson

    This is all sounding like something that happened on Facebook back in the days. The adds they will use are most likely along these lines “your friend X X X took these pictures on Hawaii *insert pictures*.” Yes this is your pictures used in an advertisement, but is it really that bad? Sure, the legal part gives them greater power, but we just have to trust them not to abuse it. Or delete our account.

  • wilmywonka

    *Sniff**sniff* yea..just what I thought it was.. bullish*t. Bottom line is that no matter what is said money will be made off of user photos without the users consent.

  • David Parrella

    Thanks Droid Life, for making me prematurely delete my Instagram account.

  • master94

    Meanwhile FB take everything for it’s self
    That’s it, from now on all my pics are only on istagram.

    • Tim242

      You do realize Facebook owns Instagram, right?

      • master94

        It was supposed to be sarcasm. Not your fault, mine for not putting the /s symbol.

  • If a hipster fails to Instagram his meal, does it count as food? Did Facebook just condemn millions of hipster protesters to death by starvation?

  • Plerisei

    lies lies lies. that is all.

  • Too late assholes, I’m gone.

  • Rodeojones000

    The most shocking thing regarding this whole Instagram controversy is that someone actually took the time to read the terms of service.

  • I am not too worried. No one wants to buy pictures of your breakfast or everyone’s crappy Instagram photos.

  • m6droid


  • Christopher Klosowski

    What part of “advertisers can use your photographs to make money without your consent or compensation” means I still own the rights. The idea of rights is that I’m compensated and asked if my content can be used.

    • john

      I don’t know in the american legal system were common law is really strange in comparison to the rest of the world but in latinamerican law you own the moral rights even if you do not have the property or being payed for it. There is an international law signed by many countries in geneve that protect these moral rights, so even if someone else makes profit of it, you can’t be for example victim of ofenses through that reproduction. And if the image contains a person, that person has image rights over his own image. I don’t know if geneve convention applies on the states, but there should be somekind of similar law at least in some states like masachusets

  • Realistic87

    deleted mine, I always hated the square photo part anyway

  • How do they expect people to react when they say things like:

    “Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising
    revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or
    promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display
    your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or
    actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions,
    without any compensation to you.

    You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid
    services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such.”

  • I was wishy washy on Instagram anyway – so this pushed me to close out my account with all of 2 pictures on there. But I’m also guessing a lot of others closed out their accounts, leading to this wishy washy response. Wishy washy.

  • Booyah

    Of course he’s going to say that. They probably already had at least 5% of their accounts deleted.

  • Bradley Allen

    To bad he has no say. Instagram is owned by Facebook which has a board of directors that will sell you photos whether Kevin Systrom respects you or not

  • It just makes Facebook look less capable of turning its services into a money making machine. See, you don’t make such dramatic changes all at once in the internet age. You also don’t benefit from your users without sharing revenue, no matter how small the share is. Look at YouTube, millions of people don’t mind sharing their embarrassing moments for that tiny portion of the ad revenue Google is giving back.

  • Closed mine up.. Then read this..

  • Yagermeister

    Too bad for them…already deleted the account and I know of 6 others (6 of 10 people I know that actually used Instagram) that did so immediately as well. Losing 60% of their users isn’t so bad is it?

  • VICO Y

    Maybe they’ll just charge for an Instagram app that wont share its photos with a third party.

  • Guest

    They should just charge for the app like everyone else does. Im sure at $1.99 for a secure & private Instragam is affordable to everyone.

    • SR

      Took the words out of my mouth. Instagram is at 50 million downloads. Charge a small fee and plenty of people would pay.

      • mfzero

        or uninstall/delete the app.

      • maybe 1/3 …and thats pushin it. With all the free photo filter apps why would you waste 2 bucks? You can feed about 3 kids in Africa for that amount!!

  • People are stil freaking out. Lol They’re literally not listening to a dang thing this guy has said. xD

    “My child is gonna end up on a porn site!”

    “You mean to tell me, a picture of my is gonna be on the Goodyear blimp during half time and I’m not getting paid a cent!?”


    • Yeah, basically. In other news, I guess the world is still flat to some.

      • Jared Fulgham

        The real burning question in my mind now is does Chris Chavez own a Droid Life t-shirt? 🙂 It’s cool to see that you two are cool.

        • Cool? Hardly! 😛 <3 xoxoxo

          • Tim is my arch nemesis. And no, @google-7fa38ac2115365188f086481dd393d58:disqus, I do not own a Droid-Life t-shirt.

            Kellex did make me a custom thong though O_o

          • Jared Fulgham

            Ha ha. Ok. 🙂 We’ll I’m a fan of both sites. But the Droid Life t’s are sweet. I guess I can cut you some slack for that though. Keep up the good work, both of you.

      • Tony Allen

        What bothered me more than anything is that images and information would freely be property of Facebook. It was only a matter of time with them having Zuckerberg owning them, I got out of the Facebook for similar reasons. I’m also done with Instagram. This won’t change in the ToS.

    • Butters619

      You should respond, “Never! The world ends in 3 days don’t you know!”

    • If parents keep posting pictures of their kids that will embarrass them in the future, chances are they are going to end up on a porn site anyway… eventually. 🙂

  • Why couldn’t it have been clearer from the start? Probably waited to see if they could slip in the more open-ended wording un-noticed. Typical American business.

    • justincase_2008

      That’s what I’m thinking. Who thought it wouldn’t be good to make it as clear as they could before releasing it.

      • michael arazan

        FB claims all intellectual ownership over all pics, videos, and anything you say on FaceBook, as well as puts hidden cookies in your computer to track every website you go to, unless you delete all cookies after going to facebook.

        –Google+ does none of these things

        FaceBook is clearly behind this, screw facebook and their intrusive BS, they are going to reword it with so much legal jargon no one will understand it, and they will just do the same thing again. Except celebrities were outraged, this time, because they didn’t want their private or fan pictures being sold without their approval or payments.

        • justincase_2008

          This is why facebook is done in private browsing mode if i go on it. Cause my older family members don’t believe they can get a hold of me if it isn’t on FB.

    • snowblind64

      I read Kevin Systrom’s letter on Instagram and it sounds like a bunch of corporate doublespeak meant to redirect concerns and dodge/backtrack the issue. It sounds like unless you set your photos to private they will still use them in their own advertising program in some manner. Hard to say when he uses such vague language to describe what is actually being done. Sure your photos are yours but they’re also Instagram’s as long as the data resides on their servers.

      • exactly. This was damage control. What are they going to say “I know all of you have read our revised TaC, and we just want to reiterate that we will sell your $hit to whomever we want. Have a nice day”

    • MttFrog13

      This is the way of social media/networking sites nowadays. They push the limits of privacy and hope no one notices. Facebook is really good at this so it’s not surprising that instagram has begun utilizing this technique. Typically they will take 2 steps forward in taking your privacy, and take one step back after there’s backlash. They’ll repeat this over and over. Slowly but surely, everyone is losing their privacy without even realizing it.

    • DanKemple

      My understanding has ALWAYS been whatever you post on the internet is public information and don’t expect privacy or intellectual rights. Maybe it’s not right but if you go into it like that you’ll never regret it in the long run.

    • Jarred Sutherland

      They are still reserving the rights to do whatever they want with your data at a later date. Just because they are looking to make money off your photos or artwork by selling the photos themselves for things like, art, etc, doesn’t mean they wont sell them to be placed in ads. I guess my take on it is, do you want your face showing up in a scene you weren’t in to begin with? Say you have a great face and some marketing company wants it for promotional stuff. It’s easier and cheaper to hire someone good with photo manipulation to place you into scenes. Since it’s an online ad, the quality doesn’t have to be high or perfect.

      There is just too much that IG .. ahem Facebook is willing to do to risk using their services.

    • CultLdr

      Yep too late for me, uninstalled and deleted account. Didn’t have much on their and will not go back.