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Posting photos on social media - copyright

=adrian=

Member
I am not prolific on social media. In fact I was pretty much absent from it since it all started. I don't know much about how to use it or how it works.

The question I have is in regards to copyright. I see many photographers post their images directly on Facebook and the lot. In effect they give away the rights to the images to the corporations behind social media for free. Does that not bother people at all?
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
Yes it does so I don't do it
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member

=adrian=

Member
They're absolutely not giving the rights of the images to the social media sites:

Facebook Doesn’t Own Your Photos No Matter What That Viral E-Mail Says | Popular Photography

I generally only post photos I want to share which is mostly those from my phone camera plus FB trashes the quality so much they're not that usable, for other personal/private photos and better quality photos I put them on a dedicated photo serving site.

John
Well, yes. Technically you still own it, but you give them the right to do with all of your stuff absolutely whatever they desire to, ie use it, sell it, modify it, licence it to others, etc. Correct me if I'm wrong but those are the same rights you have as an owner.

https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms

"you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License)"
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
Well, yes. Technically you still own it, but you give them the right to do with all of your stuff absolutely whatever they desire to, ie use it, sell it, modify it, licence it to others, etc. Correct me if I'm wrong but those are the same rights you have as an owner.

Terms of Service

"you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License)"
No, they don't - transferring the license and granting it are entirely different.

In practice I'd be more concerned about photos being taken from a proper photo hosting site where the quality is far better and clearly the fact it's not legal doesn't stop many people doing it on a regular basis and even when proved can be difficult to stop:

http://stopstealingphotos.com/

On the other hand, despite FB having those terms for a while I've yet to see Facebook using people's photos without their permission.

John
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
"Sub-licensable". Doesn't that mean they can license it as well, ie sell it.
Nope, I posted a link above explaining they can't but even if you're not convinced by that how many examples can you find of Facebook selling people's photos without permission? Given it's been that way for years it shouldn't be that hard but I've yet to see a single case unlike say Flickr which felt it was fine to sell photos commercially on an open license without any payment to the photographer and people regularly steal photos from photo sites and use them commercially without permission.

John
 

=adrian=

Member
Nope, I posted a link above explaining they can't but even if you're not convinced by that how many examples can you find of Facebook selling people's photos without permission? Given it's been that way for years it shouldn't be that hard but I've yet to see a single case unlike say Flickr which felt it was fine to sell photos commercially on an open license without any payment to the photographer and people regularly steal photos from photo sites and use them commercially without permission.

John
OK, so just to clarify. This thread has nothing to do some "recent emails". I had no idea this issue is on the agenda again. There is no connection between this thread and recent media hype (I don't watch / read news, I don't participate in media hype).

Second point, in the link you posted there is nothing, as far as I can see, saying that they cannot sell your photos.

Third, as far as I understand "sub-licensing", it is the right to grant licenses to other parties. Which basically mean, they can sell it, re-sell it, make money on it, etc and you get nothing (that's the "royality-free" part). Other points in their T&C allow them to modify your work, use it for whatever they want, however long they want and wherever they want. They can also transfer rights to other companies / bodies. Whether they do it or not, is another matter. Most likely you, as the owner, will never even know, unless some major stroke of luck will happen.
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
I never claimed it had anything to with recent e-mails but as it was a very recent article clarifying that Facebook don't own uploaded photos it's clearly relevant. As I said, granting and transferring the license are entirely different but as I said, even if none of that convinces you the much simpler point is where are all the examples of Facebook using these free roam rights they have over the photos? They've had these terms for years so it would be easy to find numerous examples of Facebook taking advantage of the free roam they have of everyone's photos. This was another response from Facebook:

The Sky Isn’t Falling, and Facebook Doesn’t Own Your Photos | Resource Magazine

Whereas comparatively, people are regularly stealing and reusing photos commercially from photo sites where the better quality (a 'high-res' photo on FB is 51K from an original 16MP/4MB image to give you an idea just how much they degrade the quality) makes it far more viable and while that may not be legal, enforcing that copyright is not viable for most people.

Edit - Just in case I'm seen as a Facebook stalwart, I don't trust them at all particularly regarding privacy so whatever I post on Facebook I do so with the assumption it may be seen publically and pictures may end up being used elsewhere. So there's no particularly personal/private info I post and most of the photos I post are nothing fancy but ones I want to share. I do like Facebook though as a tool and find you get out when you put in, I don't put tons of information in for Facebook to mine (and the fact their adverts and suggestions are completely wrong suggests that's working well) and have my feed well tuned but on the flip side I find it very useful for co-ordinating activities as I can passively keep an eye on a wide range of groups and actively use my own for organisation as needed.

In terms of my photos being reused though my much bigger concern is those from my dedicated gallery simply because the quality is much better and my gallery only hosts photos unlike Facebook which has plenty of other rubbish in between. I find it quite alarming how frequently even other photographers steal work and put it up as their own and also some of those who have had to give up trying to stop others using photos stolen from their site.

John
 
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shotokan101

Distinguished Member
So you don't class Flickr as a social media site then?
No not really as I only really use it to share images - I'd probably class Forums as more Social Media than Flickr....
 

Member 55145

Distinguished Member
My photo's are too crap for anyone to make money from so i'm not bothered lol

I think facebook only ask as obviously they have to show the image in multiple places and formats and cropping's etc.
Uploading the photograph won't give it to them no matter what they say. If all else fails just say "My wife uploaded it without my permission" lol
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
It's not something I thought of until the other day when my mother in law copied a photo of mine from FB. That's doesn't bother me, but obviously it means anyone can so am going to upload low res only to FB from now on. I think on flickr I've set my privacy so no-one can access the full sized originals. I do also add watermarks and have been experimenting with various ones. I've decided to stick with one that's very small and unobtrusive so could easily be cropped out tbh.

I think I'd be more concerned if I was a pro making a living from it, as it is it's just a hobby and I highly doubt that any of my photos would make anyone rich :laugh:
 

=adrian=

Member
If you only post snapshot then there is nothing to worry about, but there are photographers who post portfolio-style images directly on FB. Hence the thread.

Of course FB is not interested in using and selling poor quality images, but for the winners, I'm not so sure. That point in T&C is there for a reason.
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
If you only post snapshot then there is nothing to worry about, but there are photographers who post portfolio-style images directly on FB. Hence the thread.

Of course FB is not interested in using and selling poor quality images, but for the winners, I'm not so sure. That point in T&C is there for a reason.
Well I wouldn't exactly call my pics snapshots, although I'm sure many would disagree :p
 

=adrian=

Member
Well I wouldn't exactly call my pics snapshots, although I'm sure many would disagree :p
We posted at the same time. My post was directed at John and Jago who mentioned that they don't post anything of portfolio-value.

It is the portfolio quality photos this thread is mostly about (should've been more clear in the OP).
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
We posted at the same time. My post was directed at John and Jago who mentioned that they don't post anything of portfolio-value.

It is the portfolio quality photos this thread is mostly about (should've been more clear in the OP).
I wouldn't call my photos portfolio standard either :laugh:
 

wongataa

Well-known Member
unlike say Flickr which felt it was fine to sell photos commercially on an open license without any payment to the photographer
Of course in the Flickr case the photographers had to specifically choose the correct creative commons licence that enabled Flickr to be allowed to sell the pictures. By default all images uploaded to Flickr are all rights reserved and so they or anyone else can't do anything with them. If you don't understand the various other licence options and what the possible consequences of choosing to give your photos those other licences then you shouldn't do it.
It may well have been a bad PR move by Flickr but it was the fault of the people who took those pictures.
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
We posted at the same time. My post was directed at John and Jago who mentioned that they don't post anything of portfolio-value.

It is the portfolio quality photos this thread is mostly about (should've been more clear in the OP).
Well you can't post portfolio quality shots to Facebook - even at the maximum upload quality, FB absolutely decimates the quality to get the filesize down which makes gallery sites a far more viable option for photos being used commercially when they shouldn't. In your OP you asked why people upload photos to FB based on the premise that FB owned the photos but as I've explained with several sources as evidence, FB don't own the photos and there is no evidence either that Facebook have ever used the photos commercially without permission.

Given there are numerous portfolio photos that can be nicked from gallery sites (and numerous evidence they are being nicked on a weekly basis), that should be a much larger concern for photographers than Facebook particularly as correctly leveraging Facebook can bring a decent amount of business in a current day and age very focused on social media.

John
 
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Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
If you only post snapshot then there is nothing to worry about, but there are photographers who post portfolio-style images directly on FB. Hence the thread.

Of course FB is not interested in using and selling poor quality images, but for the winners, I'm not so sure. That point in T&C is there for a reason.
Yes, the point is there for a reason and I've posted two articles explaining why they're there and it's not for the reason you believe. The evidence speaks for itself, FB have had these supposedly exploitative rights over thousands and thousands of images but there's no evidence they've been used even once.

John
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
Of course in the Flickr case the photographers had to specifically choose the correct creative commons licence that enabled Flickr to be allowed to sell the pictures. By default all images uploaded to Flickr are all rights reserved and so they or anyone else can't do anything with them. If you don't understand the various other licence options and what the possible consequences of choosing to give your photos those other licences then you shouldn't do it.
It may well have been a bad PR move by Flickr but it was the fault of the people who took those pictures.
You're missing the point - the claim is Facebook could do the same (and far more) with any photo uploaded to the site as Flickr did with the open licensed photos yet despite many years of having these terms and goodness knows how many images they could do it with, there's no evidence of even a single photo being used this way.

John
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
I don't really see why it matters that they don't appear to have used their rights yet - what's relevant is surely that their user agreement means that they could/can ?
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
I don't really see why it matters that they don't appear to have used their rights yet - what's relevant is surely that their user agreement means that they could/can ?
Well their user agreement doesn't mean that they can as has been clarified several times but as I can't convince the OP of that despite posting evidence of that, the only other proof is whether they've actually used it in practice - clearly if they had then that automatically shows they do have the rights but if they haven't then that would give more credibility to the fact they don't have the rights. They haven't used these rights despite having had them for many years so that makes it far more likely they don't have the rights in the first place plus I suspect if they ever did try to use the photos commercially they'd get crucified at least in Europe.

If photos being used without permission is a concern then clearly the gallery websites should be the main worry given there's plenty of evidence of photos being misused from them on a regular basis vs no evidence at all of Facebook doing so.

John
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
Well, yes. Technically you still own it, but you give them the right to do with all of your stuff absolutely whatever they desire to, ie use it, sell it, modify it, licence it to others, etc. Correct me if I'm wrong but those are the same rights you have as an owner.

Terms of Service

"you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License)"
Well their user agreement doesn't mean that they can as has been clarified several times but as I can't convince the OP of that despite posting evidence of that, the only other proof is whether they've actually used it in practice - clearly if they had then that automatically shows they do have the rights but if they haven't then that would give more credibility to the fact they don't have the rights. They haven't used these rights despite having had them for many years so that makes it far more likely they don't have the rights in the first place plus I suspect if they ever did try to use the photos commercially they'd get crucified at least in Europe.

If photos being used without permission is a concern then clearly the gallery websites should be the main worry given there's plenty of evidence of photos being misused from them on a regular basis vs no evidence at all of Facebook doing so.

John
Facebook Doesn’t Own Your Photos No Matter What That Viral E-Mail Says | Popular Photography

The Sky Isn’t Falling, and Facebook Doesn’t Own Your Photos | Resource Magazine

I don't appear to see anything in either of those two linked articles that refutes the concerns outlined by the OP - yes the user agreement doesn't say that FB own your photos just that hey can pretty much use them in any "FB Way" they see fit - and once again the fact that they don't appear to have chosen to do so does not provide evidence that the couldn't or won't :confused:
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
Facebook Doesn’t Own Your Photos No Matter What That Viral E-Mail Says | Popular Photography

The Sky Isn’t Falling, and Facebook Doesn’t Own Your Photos | Resource Magazine

I don't appear to see anything in either of those two linked articles that refutes the concerns outlined by the OP - yes the user agreement doesn't say that FB own your photos just that hey can pretty much use them in any "FB Way" they see fit - and once again the fact that they don't appear to have chosen to do so does not provide evidence that the couldn't or won't :confused:
Both those articles directly refute the concerns outlined by the OP, one even goes into immense detail on the legal side of it directly explaining what the legal terms mean and why it doesn't mean that Facebook own the photos as people incorrectly believe. Quite honestly, I don't see how it can be any clearer than this (from the above link():

Despite the many status updates, frantic forum postings and articles circling by photography industry blogs, Facebook and Paypal are not trying to steal ownership of your photography at upload.
I'm more than a little bemused than I'm expected to repeatedly back up my claims in numerous different ways with numerous different sources but it's fine for others to back up their view with no evidence at all and just their own opinion even when I have repeatedly backed up my claims and no-one else has theirs.

The answer to the OP's question is that Facebook don't own the rights and utilizing social media effectively for a business, particularly a media orientated such as photography can work well in bringing in further business. Whether the OP agrees with that or not isn't really relevant, that's the way it is and I've backed up that claim several times over now.

John
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
well that might be because I at least don't see any information as you infer from the two articles John - and you keep using the word "own" - it's not about them "owning" anything but that the user agreement terms gives them the "right" to use your photos - what's so hard to understand about that ? - or are you saying that the user agreement doesn't say that you've given them those rights by accepting the agreement ?
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
Out of curiosity - had a look at the AVF Terms...

You are granting us with a non-exclusive, permanent, irrevocable, unlimited license to use, publish, or re-publish your Content in connection with the Service. You retain copyright over the Content.
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
Indeed - but it's the "might" that's the issue ;)
 

Elrond

Well-known Member
Like it or not, if you want to get yourself noticed, promote a business etc. People disadvantage themselves by not using Social Media these days.

With what Social Media has become and it's ever increasing importance in businesses, if someone doesn't post through worry about the T&C's, the person who doesn't will quite happily take the business.
 

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