Protecting your Images

Have you heard about the changes in Instagram’s Privacy Policy that are to take effect January 16, 2013?

Do you have works of art that you own uploaded on Instagram?  Are you concerned with your ownership rights to your works?

In a nutshell, Instagram intends to have the ability to sell your images (whether family photos or actual creations) to other companies…without your prior permission, knowledge, or compensation!!

programsInstagram does NOT claim ANY ownership rights in the text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, musical works, works of authorship, applications, or any other materials (collectively, “Content”) that you post on or through the Instagram Services. By displaying or publishing (“posting”) any Content on or through the Instagram Services, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels, except Content not shared publicly (“private”) will not be distributed outside the Instagram Services.

Now, you are probably asking yourself several questions.  How do I protect my works/images?  How can I still share in the social world without risk?  Good news is, you are not alone and in the dark…there are a few options!

    1. The most obvious of them: Delete your account!  From what I have read, if your account is deleted prior to the effective date of the new policy, you have “officially opted out of Instagrams ‘rights’ to sell your images”.  However, there is some fine print in the Terms of Service.

      Firstpen-01 up in their “General Conditions” – We reserve the right to modify or terminate the Service or your access to the Service for any reason, without notice, at any time, and without liability to you. You can deactivate your Instagram account by logging into the Service and completing the form available here: If we terminate your access to the Service or you use the form detailed above to deactivate your account, your photos, comments, likes, friendships, and all other data will no longer be accessible through your account (e.g., users will not be able to navigate to your username and view your photos), but those materials and data may persist and appear within the Service (e.g., if your Content has been reshared by others).

      Did you notice that even after you no longer have an account, your data/images may still be out there and available for them to use?

    2. Use other social photo sharing sites.  USA Today gives a list of 5 alternatives to Instagram.

      Camera Awesome. This clever tool boasts native iPad support, a huge advantage over Instagram. Users can enhance photos and apply several funny filters including “Joan of Art,” “Hoth” and “More Cowbell.”Flickr. The longstanding photo sharing site has just joined the filter parade with the latest update of its mobile app. Users select between 15 photo filters such as the black-and-white Panda and Chameleon. And let’s not forget its robust Web site.

      Pixlr-O-Matic. The benefit of this photo editing app is it’s available on multiple platforms outside iOS and Android, such as Facebook and a standalone website. Users can add special effects to images, apply overlays and borders, then save and share with others. Can’t decide what to pick? A randomizer will let the app choose effects for you.

      Streamzoo. The Android and iPhone app presents multiple possibilities with its filters, borders and different preset crops for augmenting images. Users can also create special streams based on specific themes and earn badges based on their activity.

      Twitter. Maybe you heard of this option before. After losing the ability to integrate Instagram pics into tweets, the social network created its own set of filters for users. It’s brand new, so there’s a limited set of filters, but expect more soon.

    3. The most secure option?  Host your images on your own website with copy protect!  Upload your images that you want to share on your personal site in galleries or individual blog entries.  Then take a link to your page and share it on the social sites.  First thing this does that benefits you is driving traffic to your site on a regular basis.  If you are an artist and want to promote your “stuff”, what better way than on your personalized site with everything in an orderly fashion!  Second, by placing only a link on the social sites, they are not “hosting your image” and do not have any form of license rights to your images.   There are many options to websites…some free and some you pay for.  Be sure you read carefully into the privacy policy and terms of use for any you choose…but especially the “free” ones.  After all, “free” does have a price somewhere.

Your creations are yours and you should have the right to say who uses them…when, where, and how.




How to save your photos before deleting Instagram:

Instaport is a simple way to export all your Instagram photos to other social services or your local hard drive.



USA Today website


Instagram website

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