Twitpic Owns Your Pictures

Twitpic has been caught with their hand well and truly buried in the cookie jar after users noticed some recent changes to their terms and conditions that stated they had unrestricted ownership of all your images once they’ve been uploaded to the Twitpic service. The TOS currently reads:

You retain all ownership rights to Content uploaded to Twitpic. However, by submitting Content to Twitpic, you hereby grant Twitpic a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and Twitpic’s (and its successors’ and affiliates’) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels. You also hereby grant each user of the Service a non-exclusive license to access your Content through the Service, and to use, reproduce, distribute, display and perform such Content as permitted through the functionality of the Service and under these Terms of Service. The above licenses granted by you in media Content you submit to the Service terminate within a commercially reasonable time after you remove or delete your media from the Service provided that any sub-license by Twitpic to use, reproduce or distribute the Content prior to such termination may be perpetual and irrevocable.

In a nutshell, these Terms and Conditions now give Twitpic the right to your image in every sense. They can use it for whatever they like, sell it to third parties, remove watermarks and even  utilise them for advertising. In none of these instances does Twitpic have to inform you, the rightful copyright owner. As our buddy Shepy points out, how would it feel if your face showed up on a Facebook singles advert, or Twitpic began selling your photogrpahs of major events to  news corporations?

This type of action, while deplorable is a growing trend among companies who seem quite confident that people won’t read their Terms and Conditions due to them being so lengthy. Apple and Facebook have both been found guilty of sneakily making changes to their TOS or Privacy Policy giving them a stronger hold on your information. Hell, when South Park lampoons in with episodes like the HumancentiPad, you know it’s coming to public attention; time to make a change legislaters.

We’ve reached out to Twitpic to see if they’d be willing to comment so look out for a follow up.

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