Terms of Service | Facebook & Twitpic Own Copyrights of Your Photos

by Albert Mikha on May 17, 2011

in Internet Tips,Social Media,Things You Should Know...

TOS is the abbreviation of Terms of Service which is one of important things that is often overlooked.

When installing an application on your computer or register an account on the internet, you will certainly can view and read their applicable Terms of Service. TOS is usually very long and often makes you lazy to read it.

What usually happens is that you quickly scroll down to find the button or checkbox named "Accept" or "Agree" to continue without reading much of their TOS. By pressing a button or tick the checkbox named "Accept" or "Agree", automatically you expressly agree to be bound and follow the TOS of the application or service you use.

Terms of Service is Not Just Formality

You might think that the TOS is just a formality and what contained in there is common rules without harm anyone. But make no mistake, you should read the TOS of every application or service you use, because there may be some provisions that are detrimental to you as a user.

Have you ever read one of Facebook TOS as quoted below :

For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos ("IP content"), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: 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"). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

TOS above is one of the many provisions in Facebook if you use it as social media service. For those of you who do not understand the intent of the TOS quoted above, I will explain,

Copyrights To Use & Distribute (and Sell) Your Content

If you upload the intellectual property content (photos and video) that you created yourself, then you give several rights to Facebook. These rights are that Facebook can use and distribute freely whatever you upload. Also Facebook don't give any royalties to you if they get the money from selling your photos and videos.

Facebook stating that they could not legally be sued for any matters relating to intellectual property such as photos and video that you uploaded there.

While Facebook from the first stating to have copyright on any content that you upload, it's another case with Twitpic.

Twitpic Changed TOS Suddenly

Terms of Service | Facebook & Twitpic Own Copyrights of Your Photos | twitpic home picture

Twitpic is a service provider which act as photo uploader to Twitter that is quite famous.

Twitpic change it's Terms of Service suddenly on May 10, 2011 stating the same things with Facebook related to the content (photos) that you upload there.

Read the following statement taken from Twitpic TOS :

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.

This means that the photos you've uploaded become the property of Twitpic and Twitpic can use, distribute, even sell them freely without being sued by the law. If you are Twitpic users, you'd better be careful and not upload your personal photos.

Remove Personal Content

Photos, images and personal videos are related with your privacy and safety in the cyber world. Maybe some of you think it's okay if your photos spread and appeared in various places.

But for those of you who feel disturbed and want to protect your safety and privacy, then you should not upload photos that are personal.

And what about the photos and videos that have been uploaded on Facebook and Twitpic? The only way is remove any photo or video that you upload. But maybe not all the photos and videos. I recommend that you remove several of them that are personal.

Are You Value Your Privacy and Safety?

It's little troublesome indeed. If you think privacy and safety are everything, you should do it. But anyway, it's up to you whether you really want to delete personal photos and videos you uploaded to these social sites.

What do you think? Is it important to delete the personal photos and videos if application or service you use stating on their Terms of Service that they own the copyrights? Don't hesitate to write your comment below:)

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

EN3COTE June 8, 2011 at 5:07 AM

Haven’t they changed the TOS yet? Is it really like this in Facebook? Nothing changed since 2009?

In that case it’s scary. Mostly because people don’t seem to care.
Glad I’ve been to war for nothing… not!

Please enlight me further…


Albert Mikha June 8, 2011 at 5:32 AM


The TOS has been like this on Facebook since 2009 and people don’t really care about it. Facebook maybe never really sell your stuff for money. But who knows? So it’s better to not upload any stuff that is personal and you don’t want people to see it.

Albert Mikha


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