Draconian rights-grabs aren’t just targeted at unwitting authors. If you use Instagram, you might want to reconsider your arrangement: Facebook thinks they have the right to sell your Instagram photos – without your specific consent nor for any compensation. (Hat tip: Passive Voice)
If that C/Net story is accurate, I cannot see how this ends well for Facebook or their latest acquisition, Instagram. Maybe I’m wrong – we do live in a culture that seems to desire notoriety above pretty much anything else. If you’re willing to give up your self-respect to go on reality TV for money (or not), why wouldn’t you just hand over your private photos for public use just for the pure-dee hell of it?
Now don’t get me wrong – I enjoy Facebook. It’s been fun to use and has allowed me to find and stay in touch with college and military buddies whom I’d lost touch with over the years (which reminds me – if you’re a reader who has tried to ‘friend’ me, please don’t take it personally if your request isn’t accepted. I limit that account only to family and personal friends).
I’ve never been one to jump on the Facebook complaint-wagon because, hey, free is free. Ya gets what ya pays for. But this is different in my mind – they are claiming rights to things by the simple act of offering a free public service. So Facebook: YOU SUCK. And here’s why…
Zuckerberg is either 1) an evil genius, or 2) someone who just had a neat idea and was swept to a level of success he never dreamed of by luck and timing. My money’s on door number 2, but I digress…
Instagram had not made dime one in profit when he forked over a billion dollars for it. Well, now we know where he thought the value was in an enterprise which had yet to make any money.
It seems clear to me there were ulterior motives for Instagram the whole time: once the user community is big enough, how much potential revenue are you going to lose if a certain percentage walks away? And of those who miss the deadline, how many are going to take it upon themselves to put together a class-action suit for “reversion” of rights they never should’ve given up in the first place?
This might all seem like pedantic nitpicking, but we writers can be kind of sensitive to this type of thing. Depending on how this plays out, I may be dumping my Facebook account. Stay tuned.