Feeds

Twitpic T&Cs spark teacup storm

Your pics are our pics: so what's new?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Business security measures using SSL

Twitpic has sparked outrage among the Twitter user community by changing its terms and conditions.

Sometime early in May, the photo-sharing site replaced its broad (and ill-defined) copyright statement with a new, more detailed policy.

Formerly, the heart of Twitpic’s copyright was a single sentence: “By uploading your photos to Twitpic you give Twitpic permission to use or distribute your photos on Twitpic.com or affiliated sites.” [Our emphasis in italics - El Reg.]

The new policy adds a lot of detail, and has been interpreted as turning Twitpic into yet another outfit that crowd-sources free content that it can then onsell at a profit. The key items are:

“To publish another Twitpic user’s content for any commercial purpose or for distribution beyond the acceptable Twitter "retweet" which links back to the original user’s content page on Twitpic, whether online, in print publication, television, or any other format, you are required to obtain permission from Twitpic in advance of said usage and attribute credit to Twitpic as the source where you have obtained the content.”

A million sharp-eyed bush lawyers note that this means if someone wants to re-use something from Twitpic in, for example, a newspaper, they need to ask Twitpic, but not the original poster.

The second is this:

“…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.”

In other words, Twitpic can do what it likes, including editing, with posted photos without asking the original owner’s permission.

The reaction has probably taught Twitpic – and other photo-sharing services who are probably looking at their own T&Cs, for reasons I’ll discuss in a moment – a valuable lesson. If you’re going to change the terms of service, don’t try to do it on the quiet. And make sure you’re willing to explain your reasons in public, rather than have others explain it for you.

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
WRISTJOB LOVE BONANZA: justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups
Mankind shuffles into the future, five fingers at a time
Apple's Mr Havisham: Tim Cook says dead Steve Jobs' office has remained untouched
'I literally think about him every day' says biz baron's old friend
Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen
Angry Microsoftie hauls auctioneers to court over stalled Pzkw. IV 'deal'
Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights
Don't doodle, it might cost you your flight
Cops apologise for leaving EXPLOSIVES in suitcase at airport
'Canine training exercise' SNAFU sees woman take home booming baggage
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.